Kingdom come the final v.., p.21
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       Kingdom Come: The Final Victory, p.21
 

         Part #13 of Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye
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  “I don’t follow.”

  “You don’t follow. You make noises at our cousin’s funeral like you might be one of us, you string us along by e-mail, we get absolute zilch from you—even though your buddy Qasim vouches for you with his life. And how hard do you think it was for us to figure out that your parents—your parents—started COT? And now you want us to believe you’re sympathetic to the Other Light?”

  Busted. What could he say? He breathed a silent prayer. “Lord, what now?”

  “Take the offensive,” he heard in his soul.

  “Believe what you want to believe,” Kenny said. “But you’d better not have wasted my time, dragging me all the way here just to tell me you don’t trust me. There are plenty of people in other TOL cells who do trust me. And as for where I’m embedded, where do you think you’d get better information?”

  The brothers looked at each other, and Ignace nodded. Lothair pulled a computer printout from inside his jacket and looked around before setting it on the table. It listed every employee of COT, their addresses, and even their salaries.

  “See what we can get without you, in spite of you?”

  “Fine, you’ve got a list you’re not supposed to have, but it’s not like it’s highly classified. What can you do with it? You going to start assassinating these people? You know they’re invulnerable, even the naturals.”

  Ignace leaned close, sighing and indicating that Lothair should put the printout away. The redhead stuffed it back into his pocket. “Listen, we realize that sometimes the best we can do is to be nuisances. We want access to these kids, these younger minds. So far we’ve been targeting older kids, but your parents and all the people at COT are brainwashing these innocents, and they’d never get a chance to hear the other side if it wasn’t for us. In the meantime, we try to wreak havoc on the leadership, get their minds off their mission, give us a chance to move in, maybe provide an alternative. Now do you follow?”

  “Not really, but I suppose you’ve thought this through.”

  Ignace looked over Kenny’s shoulder and discreetly waved, summoning a young woman who looked strikingly like Cendrillon. “Another cousin,” Ignace explained.

  “Nicolette,” she said as she sat, her voice husky. “A pleasure.”

  Kenny greeted her noncommittally.

  “She’s going to tell you what’s going on in some of the other places.”

  “Mexico,” she said. “Drugs, parties, alcohol. We spread the word quietly, and kids who feel oppressed by their parents or by society or by the church come in droves. We get ’em on our mailing lists and go after them with intellectual arguments.”

  “You can’t be serious.”

  The three looked at Kenny with brows raised. “There a problem, Williams?” Ignace said.

  “Yeah, there is. You lure them with booze and drugs and then you try to persuade them with reason? How reasonable can they be?”

  “How would you get to them?”

  “Start with the reason! Don’t you respect your audience? Don’t you want people with brains? At this rate, by the time we get to the last century of the Millennium, you’ll have a bunch of dopers and alkies trying to compete with the army of God. Get serious.”

  That silenced them for a moment, but it was clear they didn’t like being scolded.

  “Well,” Nicolette said, slowing and glancing at the brothers before proceeding, “you’re not going to like how we do it in Turkey.”

  “Pray tell.”

  “Hashish.”

  “Brilliant. You know, this is the best news that ever hit the other side. You might as well just concede, surrender, and hand over the future to the believers. It’s going to be them against a bunch of doped-up losers at the final conflict. Wow, I wonder which way that’s going to go. I thought the appeal of the Other Light was that you were all scholars, intellectuals, you’d thought this through, honestly come to a variant conclusion, and you wanted to keep other young people from being lemmings that follow their parents over a cliff.”

  “That’s pretty much it, yeah,” Ignace said.

  “Well, they may not fall off a cliff, but they’re going to pass out.”

  “You got a better idea?”

  “Sure! Beat the believers at their own game. Raise up impressive, bright, humble young people who are a credit to society but who disagree about the future. Wouldn’t that be way more attractive to your potential recruits than thinking that this is all about getting away with illegal stuff?”

  Lothair squinted at Kenny. “But how do you do that? How do you reach them? How do we make our side appealing?”

  “It shouldn’t be that hard. If you’re right, you’ll be convincing. And what you have going for you is the age of your audience. They’re our ages. If they haven’t become believers already, you know they’re searching, wondering, thinking, wanting to use their brainpower. They’re going to be vulnerable to a message that goes against all the rest of society. There’s glamour in being a revolutionary. Tap into that.”

  The three sat as if thinking, and Ignace began to nod. “You may be on to something.”

  Lothair said, “You know where they’re doing this, sort of . . .”

  “Jordan,” Nicolette said. “Those goofy-lookin’ little guys in Amman.”

  “You’re here till when, Williams, Saturday?”

  Kenny nodded.

  “Lothair and I were scheduled to drop in on them this week anyway. How about we all go? Maybe you can inspire ’em.”

  “I’ve never been to Jordan. Let’s do it.”

  At the end of the day, Mudawar called Abdullah and Sarsour together. “All right,” he said, “here’s how it’s going to work. When the top TOL guys from Europe get here, we play it like this: I found Abdullah doing his thing on the streets, and he seemed effective. I gave him a cockamamie story about daring him to work with us and see who was most persuasive, and he bought it. Now that I’ve got him inside our little enclave, belowground, with precious little exposure to our audience, I’ve got him right where I want him.

  “They’re going to see it as a great idea, a model for other cells.”

  “I like it,” Sarsour said.

  “I don’t,” Abdullah said. “But I did urge you to think about taking credit for me, and you are certainly planning to do that. One warning, though. I am incapable of perpetuating an untruth. Anyone asks me what I’m doing here, I’ll tell them the truth of how it really came about.”

  TWENTY-SIX

  WHEN DAVID, the king of Jerusalem and Jesus’ prince, strode onto COT property, Cameron buzzed Chloe and they rolled into action. Word spread quickly throughout the staff that it was time to round up all the kids and get them in place.

  “Greetings, greetings,” David called out. “Thanks for inviting me and for your attention. I have a most busy rest of the day at the temple, so let me get right into my story. It begins when I was the same age as many of you. It is unlikely that you can imagine what my life was like, but I had fun! Can you imagine tending sheep and fighting off wild animals? I don’t know why God gave me the courage and the strength, but He did! Shepherds, you know, were the outcasts of society, and I often felt like an outcast among all my brothers—until the Lord lifted me up.

  “I was the youngest of eight boys growing up outside Bethlehem, but we were of lowly estate. Indeed, being a shepherd was the lowest occupation a lad—or even a man—could have. But I loved the Lord with all my heart, and I strove to please Him. I learned to play the harp and always played my best to honor my God.

  “I also learned to be strong and brave and protect the sheep from wild beasts. I longed for the day when I could serve King Saul as my three oldest brothers did and fight in his army. Once our neighboring enemies, the Philistines, gathered their armies together for battle at Sochoh, which belonged to Judah. Saul and the men of Israel, including my brothers, were encamped in the Valley of Elah and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. Now picture this: the Philistines stood on a m
ountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.

  “A champion came out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. You know from hearing Noah’s story how long a cubit is. Well, a span is about half a cubit, so in today’s measures, we would say Goliath was about nine feet nine inches tall.”

  The children seemed to gasp as one.

  David laughed. “Oh, believe me, I know how big he was, for I saw him, and I was still but a lad! He wore an immense bronze helmet and was armed with a coat of woven metal that weighed 125 pounds. I didn’t weigh that myself at the time! And he wore bronze armor on his legs and carried a sword, a bronze javelin, and a spear with a head that weighed fifteen pounds. He had a shield, too, but it was so huge that he had a man walk before him who carried it.

  “Goliath cried out to the armies of Israel, ‘Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man and let him come down to me. If he is able to kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us. I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.’

  “Well, that was the talk of the whole of Israel, and everyone seemed to know that even Saul was dismayed and greatly afraid, for Goliath did this every morning and evening for forty days, and no one dared challenge him.

  “One day my father told me to take an ephah of dried grain and ten loaves to my brothers at the camp. He also gave me ten cheeses to take to the captain of my brothers’ thousand men. My father said, ‘See how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.’

  “So I rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the food and went as my father had commanded me. When I got there, the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle. I left my supplies with the supply keeper, ran to catch up with the army, and greeted my brothers.

  “While I was talking with them, that champion, the Philistine of Gath named Goliath, presented himself yet again and made his challenge. And all the men of Israel fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. They said, ‘The man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes.’

  “I couldn’t believe my ears. Even though I was just a child, I said, ‘What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? Who is this Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?’

  “My oldest brother heard this, and his anger was aroused against me. He said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’

  “Have you ever had your big brother or sister holler at you like that? I said, ‘What have I done now?’

  “I turned toward others and said that no man should dare defy the armies of the living God. Well, someone reported this to Saul, and the king sent for me and asked me to explain myself. I said, ‘Let no man’s heart fail because of him; I will go and fight with this Philistine.’

  “The king told me, ‘You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.’

  “But I said, ‘I, your servant, used to keep my father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. I have killed both lion and bear; and this Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’

  “And Saul said, ‘Go, and the Lord be with you!’ He tried to clothe me with his own armor, but it was much too big for me. I took it off, took my staff in my hand, chose for myself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in my shepherd’s bag with my sling. And I drew near to the Philistine.”

  The children were dead silent, unmoving.

  “So the giant came and began drawing near to me with his shield bearer before him. Well, you can imagine what he thought when he saw me, a little red-faced boy. He said, ‘Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?’ And he cursed me by his gods. He said, ‘Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!’

  “I said, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied! This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.’

  “When Goliath drew near, I ran to meet him. I reached into my bag and took out a stone. I slung it and struck the Philistine in the forehead so that it sank in, and he fell on his face to the earth. I had defeated him without even a sword!”

  The children clapped and cheered.

  “I stood over him and drew his own sword out of its sheath and killed him, then cut off his head. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

  “Now the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell along the road. Then the children of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their tents.

  “I took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem and presented it to Saul.”

  The children cheered again, but David quieted them. “I have many stories I could tell,” he said, “of how King Saul eventually turned on me and hated me and tried to kill me. Of his son Jonathan, who became my best friend. Of the time when I sinned greatly against the Lord and was abject in my sorrow and repentance until He forgave me. I was eventually crowned king of Israel, and late in my reign it came to pass that I was dwelling in my house, and the Lord had given me rest from all my enemies.

  “I said to Nathan the prophet, ‘See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.’

  “Later that night the Lord came to Nathan and told him to tell me not to build Him a house for Him to dwell in. He told Nathan to tell me, ‘I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth.

  “ ‘Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. And I will make you a house.

  “ ‘When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him.’

  “Then the Lord told Nathan of me, ‘Your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.’

&nbs
p; “As you can imagine, I was overwhelmed. I went in and sat before the Lord and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?’

  “Now, children, I want you to rise, and I want to teach you the proper way to worship the Lord God of Hosts, Jehovah, Messiah.” David reached toward heaven and lifted his face to the sky and said, “Now what more can I say to You? For You, Lord God, know Your servant. For Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them.

  “Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You. And who is like Your people, Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people? For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, Lord, have become their God.

  “Now, O Lord God, let Your name be magnified forever. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge.

  “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry entered His ears. He rode upon a cherub, and flew; and He was seen upon the wings of the wind. He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support.

  “He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all His judgments were before me; and as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.

  “With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; with a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; with the pure You will show Yourself pure; and with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. You will save the humble people, but Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down.

 
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