Kingdom come the final v.., p.15
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       Kingdom Come: The Final Victory, p.15
 

         Part #13 of Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye
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  “Oh, it’s just Qasim. I teased him about missing the biggest day COT ever had, and all he wanted was to keep bugging me about going out with him again.”

  “What did you tell him? Or do I want to know?”

  “I told him about us, of course. He couldn’t believe that could have happened so fast. He accused you of moving in on him, undercutting him as soon as you heard about our date. I assured him I had been friends with you before him and that we hadn’t even realized how we felt about each other until later.”

  “I can’t blame him for being disappointed, Kat. I was too, when I heard you were going out with him.”

  “I’ve never even had a boyfriend, and now I’ve got two fighting over me.”

  “I’m not fighting. And I won’t. It seems to me you’ve made your choice.”

  “Of course I have, but I didn’t expect it to become an issue with him. I guess I hoped he was a friend and would understand. Apparently not.”

  “Well, when my mother talks to you about the transfer, that might be a good thing to mention. You can’t be trying to work with someone who’s upset with you.”

  They reached her house and sat out front.

  “That’s just it, Kenny. I can’t remember the last time I was out of sorts with a brother in Christ. I mean, really, it’s been around twenty years. I thought we were old enough to be past all that now.”

  “Does it make you question his faith?”

  “Of course it does, and I don’t want to feel that way. I just wish the transfer thing was over and done with so I wouldn’t have to face him tomorrow.”

  “You want me to talk to my mother?”

  “No! Kenny! How would that look?”

  “Just asking. Offering.”

  “I know, and thanks. But please don’t.”

  “I wouldn’t without your permission.” He wanted to tell her that perhaps Raymie had already talked to Qasim and laid down the law about separating himself from the Millennium Force, but Kenny didn’t want to be guilty of the same loose tongue that had gotten Qasim in trouble.

  He arrived home that evening to a computer message from Ignace Jospin. Oh, great!

  It read: “Glad to hear from our mutual friend of your continuing interest in our cause and your strategic positioning there. Attached is our manifesto, and we would appreciate any reports you can send that would be of value.”

  How was Kenny supposed to respond to that?

  “Good to hear from you,” he wrote. “Give me a few days.”

  “Okay,” came the quick response, “but understand what we’re looking for: information on key individuals.”

  He took a call from Bahira.

  “Any idea what has Zaki so upset?” she said.

  “Yeah, but you should probably talk to Raymie.”

  “Just tell me, Kenny. We’ve known each other long enough, and I know Raymie trusts you and would expect you to tell me.”

  And so he did.

  “Well,” she said, “frankly I think dealing with Qasim is overdue. Not that Raymie didn’t try to stifle Qasim long ago. This is Zaki’s creation, a fiasco he could have fixed early. So do you get the impression that Qasim finally understands he’s not associated with us in any way?”

  “I have no idea. I’m just guessing that Raymie has had the talk with him and that he’s complained to Zaki. Your brother’s mad?”

  “Something’s got him wound up. I can only assume you’re right. You’re a good friend and brother, Kenny. And I hear good news about you.”

  “You do?”

  “Are you going to play coy or are you going to introduce me?”

  “I’d be proud to, sister.”

  The next day Chloe Williams was perusing her mail when she decided she would have to talk with Ekaterina Risto personally. Conflicting messages made what could have been a rubber-stamp transfer something she would have to examine carefully.

  Ekaterina visited the office on her lunch break.

  “Did you get a chance to eat?” Chloe said.

  “No, but I’m fine.”

  “Nonsense. I want you fully energized to keep up with these kids this afternoon. Have some bread and cheese.”

  “Thank you.”

  They ate together as they spoke. “Ekaterina, tell me in your own words why you want a transfer.”

  “I guess I just want to be more on the front lines. I get chances to pray with kids in rec, but I’d rather be teaching them and worshiping with them for the whole day like some of the other departments do.”

  “Like the one Kenny is in.”

  “Right, but I assume you saw there that I specified I was not asking for or expecting to be working with him.”

  “You don’t want to?”

  Ekaterina flushed. “Well, frankly, yes, I’d love that. But I wouldn’t permit that if I were you, and I think Kenny and I both are resigned to the fact that that’s not going to happen.”

  Chloe smiled. “You’re right. Now, how have things been going in rec, other than that you feel a little stifled on the ministry side?”

  “Oh, very well. I did have a little issue with one of the guys who is more interested in me than I am in him. It would be good to be out of that awkward situation, but that’s not the real reason I want to be transferred. I’ve been straightforward with him, so I think he understands.”

  “That’s good. But I do need to talk with you about a work report on you from your supervisor.”

  “Mattie? She sent a report on me? A good one, I hope. We’ve gotten along great.”

  “Actually, it’s a troubling one, Ekaterina.”

  EIGHTEEN

  “I AM EMBARRASSED,” Abdullah Ababneh told Yasmine. “I believed I heard from the Lord—actually, I know I did—but I jumped to a very wrong conclusion.”

  “Tell me,” she said as they sat down to lunch in their tiny apartment in Amman.

  “He clearly called me to work among the people of the Other Light, and naturally I assumed this meant I was to work against them.”

  “Of course. What are you saying?”

  “Well, there is no way to counter them—at least this is what I thought—other than to infiltrate them. The Lord was quite specific that I was to talk to them directly.”

  “I understand that would be difficult other than under an alias and in disguise.”

  “Yet everywhere I turned, all I was told was that it was impossible—even from Zeke. If he couldn’t make it work, only the Lord could. And He has.”

  “How long are you going to keep me in suspense, Abdullah? What has changed?”

  “I suppose Jesus either got tired of seeing me running around and getting nowhere or was amused by it. Finally He made it plain to me during my morning prayer. Do you know what a chaplain is, Yasmine?”

  “Well, certainly, I recall from the old days that some Christian groups or the military had spiritual leaders. We don’t have them now, of course, because we have priests and judges and the Lord Himself. . . .”

  “And yet He is calling me to be a chaplain.”

  “A chaplain to what? to whom?”

  “To the people of the Other Light.”

  Yasmine set down her bread and stared at him. “Abdullah, there are two reasons I am stifling my laughter. One, I know you do not like to be laughed at. And two, you say this came from the Lord Himself. How does a non-Christian—even anti-Christian—group have a chaplain? Why would they want one, and what would they do with—or to—him?”

  “They will not lay a hand on me; I can assure you of that because the Lord has assured me. He promises to give me everything I need. Wisdom, knowledge, recall, words, and especially courage and confidence.”

  “I am not following. What will you do?”

  “You recall that during the Great Tribulation I became quite a student of prophecy and the Word of God near the end.”

  “You have told me, yes. I have no doubt of your knowledge.”

  “I am to use that, much as a pastor would.”

/>   “To do what!?”

  “I am to find out where TOL meets here in Amman. Frankly, I am not even sure they actually meet here yet. Perhaps the Lord led me here in advance of them simply because He knew they were coming. But once they are here, I am to find them and confront them, but not in a negative way.”

  “No?”

  “The Lord has assured me that He holds their destiny in His hands. They know whom they are opposing, and any criticism or warning will be no surprise to them; neither will it have any impact on their thinking. His new plan is at once both revolutionary and as old as the New Testament. I am to love them and treat them the way I would want to be treated.”

  Chloe Steele Williams pulled a sheet from the file folder and handed it to Ekaterina Risto, watching carefully for a response. The young woman squinted and seemed to be reading quickly. She appeared unable to speak.

  “You know we’re fair here,” Chloe said. “I would like your side of this.”

  “I . . . I, uh . . . don’t know what to say. Either I’m going crazy or one of us is a liar.”

  “Mattie Cleveland is one of our best supervisors, Miss Risto.”

  “Oh, I know! I love her! But this says she has talked with me about these problems. Problems I didn’t even know I had. I don’t remember her talking with me about them at all. In fact, we haven’t talked, except for normal chitchat while working, for days.”

  “Now, Ekaterina. These are summaries of your discussions. About your being tardy, taking too long of breaks, leaving early, being hard to find when team chores are scheduled, sitting with Kenny at the Noah appearance without permission, disagreeing with her in front of the staff.”

  “Is it possible for me to talk with her personally?”

  “Face your accuser, you mean?”

  “I guess.”

  “But it appears you two have talked quite a bit, and your behavior has not changed.”

  Ekaterina stood and paced. “I’m not trying to be defensive,” she said. “And the Lord knows I’m not perfect. But I’m telling you, I’m not guilty of any of this. Even the sitting with Kenny.”

  “I saw you two sitting together.”

  “Yes! With Mattie’s permission. I cleared it with her first, made sure she didn’t need me to watch any children.”

  “Hmm.”

  “So can I meet with her, with you present?”

  “I guess. Sure.” Chloe had Mattie summoned. “She’ll be here in a few minutes.”

  “I am to speak on Jesus’ behalf,” Abdullah said. “Say what He would say if He encountered these people.”

  “But the Bible foretells how Jesus will deal with His enemies at the end of the Millennium,” Yasmine said. “There will be no mercy, no patience. There will not even be a battle, though the enemy will plan an attack.”

  Abdullah opened his hands. “All I know is what He is telling me. I go to them, tell them that I am a chaplain available to them on behalf of the Ruler of this world. I am to tell them not to fear me, that I mean them no harm. I am to speak on behalf of Jesus, and I am to make myself available to them for their spiritual needs—any questions, counseling, teaching, or whatever else they want.”

  “They will laugh you out of their headquarters, wherever it is. They might even attack you.”

  “Oh, that is another thing. I am free to warn them about that. I am to say that because I come under the authority of the Son of God, woe to those who would oppose me.”

  When Yasmine stood to clear the table, Abdullah assisted. “My biggest fear,” she said, “would be their ignoring you.”

  “I am hard to ignore.”

  “How well I know.”

  “I am to ask them for an office.”

  “A Christian chaplain’s area within their offices?”

  He nodded. “And if they turn me down, I am to set up a table and a chair right outside the entrance.”

  “For what purpose?”

  “To be available to them when they are coming or going—especially, I suppose, when they are recruiting. Potential recruits will have to get past the chaplain before they can be enlisted.”

  “I say this with all due respect, Abdullah, but are you sure you haven’t lost your mind?”

  Chloe had long loved Mattie Cleveland. She was tall with short sandy hair and laughing eyes. She had been raptured and returned at the Glorious Appearing, immediately gravitating toward children. She was efficient and thorough, and because of her background in all kinds of sports, she was loved by the kids who engaged in her recreation department activities. She had worked with Cameron and Chloe at COT for well over ninety years.

  “Hey, Chloe,” she said as she entered. And as soon as she noticed Ekaterina, she said, “Kat! How’s my favorite new aide? Why the long face?”

  “Your report,” Ekaterina said as the three sat.

  “Report?”

  Chloe handed it to her. Mattie read it with a furrowed brow, then glanced up at Chloe. “Where’d you get this?”

  “It was in my box at the end of the day yesterday.”

  “Forged.”

  “I’m sorry?”

  “Wholly made up. I’ve never seen it, didn’t write it, never had these conversations with Kat. Don’t know a thing about it. She sat with Kenny with my permission, and as for the rest of it, totally fabricated. I’ve been watching this one from the first day to make sure she’s not too good to be true. I couldn’t ask for a better worker.”

  Chloe sat studying both women. “Then why does she want to be transferred out of your area?”

  “Oh!” Ekaterina said. “I haven’t mentioned that to Mattie yet.”

  “Sorry,” Chloe said, “but I need this to add up and make sense, and right now, it’s doing neither.”

  “You’re wanting to leave me, Kat?” Mattie said. “Whatever for?”

  Ekaterina told her.

  “I wish you’d said something, hon. I think I can make it work right where you are. I need someone to take the ball and run with it, so to speak, on the spiritual side. It bothers me too that the kids come to us only to play and that they’re largely getting their spiritual input elsewhere. What if I put you in charge of that, took you off sports duty, and you were free to roam and talk with kids who look like they have questions or needs?”

  “I’d love that, but how does that address the Qasim issue?”

  “I noticed he was on your case a lot, but I couldn’t tell whether you found it annoying or charming, so I left it alone. He bothers you, I’ll put him in his place. How’s that?”

  Ekaterina shrugged. “Sounds great to me, but don’t you agree we still have a major problem?”

  “We sure do,” Chloe said. “Whoever pulled this prank—and there’s no way they thought they could get away with it; I mean, how long did they think it would take me to check with you, Mattie?—either has a very poor sense of humor, or they’re not even a believer. Unless someone gets to me very quickly and admits this was some sort of a joke that didn’t work, I have to take it at face value. It’s a lie, it defames someone, and it evidences someone who is not showing the love of Christ.

  “Well, you let me worry about that. Meanwhile, if you like the role Mattie has outlined for you, how about you stay put and do it?”

  Rayford and his team were seeing a spiritual harvest in Osaze that had not been seen there in aeons. Everywhere they went, Rayford led the others in planting and building and developing technology. And when Tsion and Chaim and Bruce preached, hundreds of thousands of people turned back to the Lord and young people became believers.

  The preachers pulled no punches. They warned that God would again strike their land if they chose to ignore him. But they also thrilled the masses with the promises of the Lord.

  Tsion Ben-Judah was holding forth one cool evening, telling a crowd of thousands, “Thus says the Lord of Hosts: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray
to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

  “ ‘For behold, He who forms mountains, and creates the wind, who declares to man what his thought is, who treads the high places of the earth—the Lord God of hosts is His name.

  “ ‘You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, for He will abundantly pardon.’

  “Now hear these words of the Most High God: ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

  “ ‘For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper.’ ”

  __

  That evening had seen a particularly successful meeting, and Rayford noticed that the team was anything but settled enough to sleep. “Shall we camp out tonight? enjoy a meal over an open fire?”

  Everyone agreed, and Irene and Bruce’s wife made the assignments. Everyone had something to do, from gathering kindling to erecting a tarpaulin shelter from the blazing moon to helping prepare the meal. They sang and prayed and chatted into the night as they ate.

  Finally Tsion said, “Rayford, do you realize where we are?”

  “I do, old friend. We’re not far from where you came through on your flight from Israel so many years ago. Tell the story. I don’t believe Mac and Bruce or the ladies have heard it.”

  “Okay with you, Chaim?” Tsion said. “You’ve heard it a million times. You could tell it yourself.”

  “No, please. It always warms my heart.”

  “Well, okay. I had made my position clear on international television from Jerusalem that I, a rabbinical scholar, had come to the conclusion that all the prophecies of the Bible that pertained to the coming Messiah were fulfilled in the man Jesus. You can imagine the outcry. My family was slaughtered, and I was chased from the country.

 
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