Kingdom come the final v.., p.23
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       Kingdom Come: The Final Victory, p.23
 

         Part #13 of Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye
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  He stepped closer. “Kat, wait. I deserve to know—”

  “Don’t you dare!” she said. And she turned and kept going.

  Kenny staggered back into the bistro and into the back room. “I want to know what’s going on,” he said. “And I want to know now.”

  Bahira was the only person who would look at him. And she looked like death. “You’ve been found out is all,” she said.

  “Found out?”

  Raymie looked up. “We know where your true loyalties lie,” he said. “You can end the charade.”

  Kenny plopped into the seat Kat had vacated. “I’m listening,” he said. “What are the charges?”

  Raymie said sadly, “You can have my copy. I don’t need to see any more.” He slid it across to Kenny and stood. The others rose also. “Why don’t you look this over, and if there’s anything more to be said, well, you know where to find us.”

  “Well, but, what—?”

  “We’re leaving, Kenny. The ball is in your court.”

  “Can’t we talk about this, whatever it is?”

  Raymie shook his head as the others left. “Not right now. We’re not in the mood.”

  Kenny fingered the pages and looked at the first page as a waitress came and asked if he wanted anything. All he could do was shake his head as he read a memo dated three days prior:

  To: Ignace Jospin, Executive Director

  The Other Light International

  Paris, France

  From: Operative 88288, Kenneth Bruce Williams

  Israel

  Re: Progress

  First, Ignace, it was great to reunite with you and your brother despite the sad occasion of your cousin’s death. It had been too long, and communicating like this is never as good as in person, especially when we share such a bond.

  I very much look forward to seeing you and Lothair in Paris and thank you in advance for making available to me the lovely Nicolette again. The nights can otherwise be lonely in a strange city, even one as beautiful as your capital.

  You’ll be pleased to know that my parents remain wholly in the dark. It’s nice that they are so naïve. I don’t doubt their sincerity, but the blind devotion believing parents have in their offspring makes duping them so easy. My dull-witted mother remains convinced that I share her beliefs and points to the night she claims to have “led” me to Jesus. Well, Mom, you have to mean it if you pray that prayer.

  I trust you got the personnel printout. My mother is making noises about putting locks on the doors; my access to her office won’t cross her mind this Millennium.

  My uncle Raymie suspects nothing. I’m sure he was brought in on the Risto personnel matter, plus the later defaming note about yours truly. Imagine if they even dreamed I planted both those myself.

  Rest assured your fears over the new girlfriend are unfounded. She’s no Nicolette, but she’s cute enough and more naïve than my mother. Her parents are homely, swarthy little people who worship the ground I walk on. Her father was apparently a spectacularly unremarkable tradesman, and her mother is basically a nondescript homebody. They will not be an issue. I may even go through with marrying this girl, which will only make my work for you at COT that much easier. She is in another department, which merely broadens my reach.

  I’ll provide a virtual core dump of other vital information when I arrive. Keep Nicolette warm until I get there. I’ll see you soon.

  Loyal to the Other Light forever,

  KBW

  Kenny was nauseated. Where did one begin to try to defend himself against such a detailed, devastating document? He scooped up the pages and stood, woozy and feeling utterly alone. His parents would visit that evening. That loomed as an oasis. Surely they wouldn’t believe a word of this.

  But who wrote this, and where did they get their information? The nuances, the detail, made it so much worse. And yet it was so dead-on that Kenny was surprised someone didn’t see through it. What were the odds that almost every line would incriminate him?

  Naturally Kenny had never faced a crisis like this, but in the past when he had what now appeared minor, petty issues, he’d turned first to his mother, then maybe to Raymie or his dad. Who could he turn to now? For all they knew, he was what the document purported: a turncoat. Hardly anyone had been spared.

  “Lord, You’re all I have left,” Kenny prayed as he headed toward home. “Please tell me You’re still here.”

  He nearly wept with relief when he felt the peace only Jesus could give, but still Kenny had no idea how to dig himself out of this.

  And what was that vehicle that had crossed at the corner ahead of him? It looked like the van that had delivered him back to Israel. When it stopped, turned around, and came toward him, he stopped and stared. The window was lowered and Nicolette leaned out.

  Kenny wanted to run, to warn her to stay away from him, but he couldn’t jeopardize his cover with TOL, regardless of whether they were behind trying to ruin him.

  She jumped out and approached. “We missed our turn,” she said. “Ignace wants to fly out of Tel Aviv.”

  “Back the way you came,” Kenny said, still reeling and desperate to cover. “That’ll take you to the main route toward Tel Aviv and the airport.”

  “You’re a peach,” Nicolette said, leaning close to kiss him on the cheek.

  “Yeah, yeah, see ya,” Kenny said, only realizing as she pulled away from him that Lothair had been hanging out the window and had shot a picture of the kiss.

  TWENTY-NINE

  CAMERON WILLIAMS sat steely eyed and somber in Kenny’s living room as Chloe wept. He didn’t know what to think. His son was denying everything, which he would do whether innocent or guilty. Admittedly, the document that Qasim Marid claimed he had retrieved off Ignace Jospin’s desk in Paris had so many glaring incriminations in it that it could easily have been a setup. But who would do such a thing, and who would know enough details to pull it off?

  “There’s not a doubt in my mind that Qasim is behind this for all kinds of reasons,” Kenny said. “But how would I ever prove that?”

  “Call me a typical mother,” Chloe said, looking pleadingly at Cameron, “but I believe him.”

  “Of course you do, and I want to, too.”

  “You want to, Dad? My word is not good enough for you? You always taught me to live in such a way that if someone brought a charge against me, no one would believe it. What have I done, how have I lived, that makes no one but my mother believe me?”

  “Yes, Cam,” Chloe said. “That’s a good question.”

  Cameron sighed. “Maybe I know something you don’t, Chloe.”

  “Oh, great!” Kenny said. “There’s more?”

  “I got an anguished call from Abdullah this afternoon. He saw you at TOL headquarters in Amman today, Kenny.”

  “What? What was he doing there?”

  “So you were there?” Chloe said.

  “Of course I was! Didn’t everyone know where I was and what I was doing? I was undercover, infiltrating.”

  “And—” Cameron said.

  “Oh no, Dad. What now?”

  “Qasim delivered our copy of the memo to COT. Raymie and I had it evaluated by a computer techie. It was sent from your computer, Kenny.”

  Kenny just sat shaking his head.

  “There has to be an explanation,” Chloe said. “Kenny, I need to hear it.”

  “What can I say, Mom? It wasn’t me. You know we’ve never locked our doors around here. Anybody could have done it.”

  Cameron was as conflicted as he’d been since the Glorious Appearing. How he wanted to believe Kenny! But the evidence against him just kept mounting.

  “What recourse do I have, Dad? Is this a case I can take before the judges?”

  “Only if someone charges you with a crime. Has anyone done that?”

  “I wish Qasim would. He’s the one who seems to gain the most from this.”

  “What is he gaining?”

  “He makes me look bad. He c
osts me Kat.”

  “Where is Ekaterina, by the way?” Chloe said.

  “Where do you think? Anywhere but here. She won’t answer her phone, won’t see me. I guess I can’t blame her, but I thought we knew each other better than this.”

  “Well,” Chloe said, “those things you said about her parents . . .”

  “I didn’t say them! I love her parents. Listen, something else is going to surface, and I need your help.” Kenny told them about Nicolette and the picture. “I just know they’ll deliver it to Kat. Since I can’t get anywhere near her, could you warn her?”

  “I don’t know,” Cameron said.

  “Of course I will,” Chloe said. “And she’s going to want to know what to do about work. I’ll assure her that she can come and not worry about running into you.”

  “And why is that? You’re finding me guilty too? firing me?”

  “Call it a suspension,” Cameron said. “Just till we can figure this out.”

  “What can I do, Dad, take a lie detector test? You know what this means if it’s true? I’m an infidel, an unbeliever. That means I die at one hundred and go to hell. Do you really believe that about me?”

  “No,” Cameron said. “I don’t. But I don’t know what to do about your reputation now or countering all this evidence.”

  They sat in silence a long time. Finally Kenny spoke. “It seems that with all the people you know, all the people you’ve worked with, we have access to spiritual power few others have. If everybody who’s worked with you and believed in you and supported you in the past would cooperate in prayer, I don’t believe Jesus would let this injustice stand. Do you?”

  Cameron and Chloe looked at each other. Then Cameron addressed his son. “They would all have to know everything, Kenny. They would have to see all the evidence.”

  “Dad, I’ve got nothing to hide. What have I got to lose? I believe Jesus is here and on His throne and that lies will be exposed. I’m open to anything.”

  __

  But that night Kenny couldn’t sleep. He sat at his computer and composed a message to the Millennium Force and copied it to Ekaterina.

  Dear friends, you can’t know what I’m going through, but perhaps you can imagine. Think how it would be if you were in my place and wholly innocent. I am, you know. Let me get that on the record from the start. I confess I’m hurt, deeply wounded, that you assume me guilty. I suppose all I can do now is to endure a little more than two more years until I turn one hundred. And when I am still here the next day, you’ll know that I am a believer, that I belong to Christ, and that while I am not perfect—as I am a natural—I could not be guilty of this.

  Kenny didn’t feel much better even after transmitting his defense, so he wrote separately to Ekaterina:

  My dearest love, I can only imagine how phony and hollow that sounds coming from me now. You are convinced I am guilty, and I don’t know how to prove otherwise. Perhaps there is some deep pocket of love for me in your heart that misses what we had together and longs to believe all things, as the Bible says.

  Kat, I fell in love with you almost from the beginning. I can’t even remember, nor do I wish to, life before you. I thanked God for you every day and looked forward to that great day when we would marry and be able to spend the rest of our lives together.

  Do me a favor tonight, will you, and read the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. And while you are raw and aching, I know this may sound empty to you too, but I want you to know that one day in the future, when the truth comes out, I will not hold it against you that you didn’t trust me. I’d like to think that I would not have believed such charges about you, no matter how convincing, but I don’t know. Regardless, I will forgive you, so don’t let anything keep you from coming back to me. Whatever happens, you will always be my lifetime love, and there will never be another.

  With my soul,

  Kenny

  Kenny lay wide-eyed on his back, staring at the ceiling. He didn’t know why he was so desperate to sleep with no obligations in the morning. Finally he rose and grabbed his Bible, taking it back to bed and reading what he had recommended to Ekaterina:

  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

  Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

  For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

  Kenny found himself weeping and longing for heaven, where Jesus had promised to wipe away all tears from his eyes. “Lord, I need You,” he said. “I need Your help.”

  “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

  And, finally, Kenny was able to doze.

  Abdullah called the Other Light headquarters in Amman before heading out the next morning.

  Sarsour answered, “TTI.”

  “TTI indeed,” Abdullah said. “Are your guests gone? Is the coast clear for me to return?”

  “Oh, Mr. Ababneh! Yes! And you have no idea how much Mudawar wishes to see you. He is so appreciative of your acceding to his request yesterday and keeping him from an embarrassing situation. Of all the kind things you have done since you have been here, that was the kindest. Anyway, yes, please come in.”

  Kenny arose not refreshed but with an interesting new outlook. It was as if the Lord had spoken to his heart even as he slept. It was the strangest feeling—something that those like him were unlikely to grasp without an ordeal such as the one he was enduring. He was getting a taste—albeit a very small and entirely less violent one—of what it must have been like for Jesus to be betrayed and abandoned by His friends. Of course, Jesus was mocked and spit upon and struck, had a crown of thorns thrust into His scalp, had His side riven by a sword, and was eventually put to death.

  And He was more than innocent. He was perfect, sinless. It went without saying that Kenny could not say the same about himself, but he knew he could face the day. His soul was pierced by the loss of the love of his life, and all he could do was pray that truth and time would walk hand in hand and that eventually Ekaterina would return to him.

  Meanwhile, the Lord seemed to be impressing upon Kenny to redeem the time. Nothing would be served by defending himself and moping about in misery—Jesus certainly never did either of those. Though he was not hungry, Kenny forced himself to pick fresh fruits and vegetables and to eat them with bread and wine. Normally he would have enjoyed this bounty from the Lord, and while he was grateful for it, he was eating only out of a sense of duty. He needed fuel to function correctly, and he wanted to fill his hours—until his vindication, however long that would take—with some sort of work for the kingdom.

  This day that would mean planning and writing and preparing curriculum that would make him a better Bible teacher, a better leader for the young charges at COT that he prayed would once again someday be entrusted to him. Only the
Lord would be able to keep his mind on the task and off Ekaterina and his troubles.

  For the first time since he had begun his unusual assignment in Amman, Abdullah was greeted warmly not only by Sarsour but also by Mudawar. The latter actually emerged from his office with a smile and a two-handed shake for Abdullah.

  “Come into my office a moment, sir,” Mudawar said. “Sit down. I must tell you, I don’t understand you. I disagree with you. You should be my enemy, and in many ways you are. But you honored me by your absence yesterday. I have to say I would not likely have afforded you the same courtesy. And I didn’t expect it from you. Indeed, you had warned me that you would do nothing of the kind. In fact, when finally, at the end of the day, I walked my guests out to their car, I expected you to be sitting in front of our door, prepared to shame me.

  “Now, you must tell me. Why did you not, and where in the world were you?”

  THIRTY

  THE UNIQUE ministry the Lord had assigned Rayford Steele and his team in Osaze had gone more swimmingly than any project Rayford could recall, but that very fact niggled at him every spare moment. Had he erred in believing that this period, this millennial kingdom with Jesus on the throne of the world, would be a time of unmitigated peace?

  Clearly things were different than they had ever been. But while it seemed that in every city and town and outpost, citizens were eager to hear from the Lord, willing to work with those He had sent, and desperate to be sure their young people made decisions for Christ, that angelic visit from Anis had both inspired and rattled Rayford.

  For if the Lord Himself was in charge, why did Rayford and his little band need a rear guard? From whom were they being protected?

  Everyone had been affected by the drought and famine that had resulted from Egypt’s disobedience. And so everywhere Rayford and the others traveled, things seemed to turn around immediately. The preachers preached, the builders built, the consultants consulted, and everyone on the team got the chance to lead someone to salvation virtually every day.

 
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