Kingdom come the final v.., p.27
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       Kingdom Come: The Final Victory, p.27
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         Part #13 of Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye
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  The millions-strong enemy created a cacophony of rumbling and jangling, sending dust billowing as far as the eye could see. And suddenly rising from within those masses and marching to the fore came Satan himself, as a shining light, a gleaming sword raised high.

  “And now,” he shouted, somehow able to be heard for miles, “I come to claim what has been rightfully mine since the dawn of time: the very throne of God!”

  As Satan advanced toward the temple, the noise of his endless troops drowning out the sounds of nature, God Himself seemed to allow Rayford to stand taller than he had in centuries. It was as if he were a young man again, and he longed to join his Savior on the front lines. He was aware that his friends also stood tall beside him, eager, anticipating, knowing the side of the righteous would prevail.

  Despite all the attacks of the evil one throughout the aeons of time, his efforts were doomed to an ill end. And as Rayford Steele and his compatriots looked on—all of them sinners redeemed by the blood of the Lamb who sat on the throne—Jesus rose to face His challenger for one last time.

  The Alpha and Omega, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Lion of Judah, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Rock, the Savior, the Christ stood in the courtyard of His temple.

  Satan, silenced for a thousand years, shrieked, “Charge!”

  Jesus responded quietly, “I AM WHO I AM.”

  And with that, the clouds rolled back and the heavens opened, and orange and yellow and red mountains of white-hot, roiling flames burst forth. Satan’s entire throng—men, women, weapons, everything—was vaporized in an instant, leaving around the holy mountain a ring of ash that soon wafted away in the breeze.

  Satan looked about him and slowly lowered his sword. He appeared to have something to say and even drew breath to say it, but he fell silent.

  And Jesus spoke. “You, O evil one, were once full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.

  “You were my anointed cherub. I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.

  “You became filled with violence, and you sinned. Worse, you led countless others to unbelief. Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; and now I cast you to the ground, I lay you before kings, that they might gaze at you.

  “You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever.”

  Satan dropped his sword and fell shuddering to his knees.

  From within the temple, King David emerged and said with a loud voice, “This is Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

  “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

  David retreated, and Jesus merely lifted a hand and opened His palm. A seam in the cosmos opened before Satan. Flames and black smoke poured from where the Beast and the False Prophet writhed on their knees screaming, “Jesus is Lord!”

  Satan cried out, “Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord!”

  Jesus closed His fingers and Satan was thrown into the abyss, the seam sealing to muffle the screams of the three who would be tormented day and night forever and ever in the lake of fire and brimstone.

  __

  Suddenly Rayford got an idea of what it had been like for Irene and Raymie to be raptured. He found himself lifted from the veranda, muscle and flesh and hair restored to the way he had looked and felt at about age thirty. His clothes had been exchanged for a gleaming white robe, and as he and all his friends and loved ones ascended through the ceiling and the roof and flew toward the holy mountain, Rayford knew from his depths that his mind, too, had finally been glorified.

  The only thing that mattered now was to praise and glorify Jesus, the lover and Savior of his soul. As he and the billions who had lived through the Millennium ascended, he saw descending the most beautiful and massive foursquare city of transparent gold, so stunning that Rayford knew his finite mind would never have been able to take it in.

  As the elect and redeemed of the ages happily gathered in the new Jerusalem, they watched in awe as the final resurrection occurred below them. From every nook and cranny on the earth and from the seas and below the earth came the bodies of all the men and women in history who had died outside of Christ.

  And descending from the heavens came Jesus, sitting on a great white throne. With the saints above Him and the resurrected dead amassed in the heavens around Him, the very earth and sky flew from Him. Fire from the heavens and from within the earth ignited the globe, and in a flash it was incinerated and blown into tiny flaming particles that hurtled through space.

  Rayford now understood the Scriptures that foretold of this great judgment, as below him he saw the dead, small and great, standing before Jesus. These were those whom, according to Revelation 20:5, “did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” As the Bible had foretold, the sea had given up the dead who were in it, and “Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.” All these billions of the sinful dead now resurrected stood in shame before Jesus. Rayford worshiped with all who had escaped this fateful hour.

  Arrayed before Jesus were three great books: the Book of Life, containing the name of every person who had ever lived; the Book of Works, containing every righteous or evil deed they ever committed; and the Lamb’s Book of Life, containing only those who had trusted in Christ for their salvation. Rayford’s glorified mind allowed him to understand that he was, of course, listed in the Book of Life, but he had been forgiven for any misdeed associated with his name in the Book of Works. And that he and everyone with him in the beautiful city of God were listed in the Lamb’s Book of Life, while all the desolate souls hovering about the throne were not.

  What a contrast! Everyone with Rayford had longed to see Jesus and lived for the day they would be with Him in paradise. Those waiting for judgment looked as if they dreaded even looking at Him, as if they would have given anything to be anywhere else in the universe.

  In his new state, Rayford also instinctively understood God’s economy of time. Dealing fairly with that massive throng for even just a few minutes each would take—in the earthly measure of time—millions of years. But to God, a thousand years is as a day and a day as a thousand years. The Lord somehow dealt with each person individually, calling out his or her sins and transgressions and assigning punishment—all would suffer in the lake of fire, but some worse than others, such as those scoffers who had led others astray, especially children. Yet in what seemed a matter of moments, it was over. The unbelieving dead had been judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. Then Jesus cast Death and Hades into the lake of fire, and all not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire.

  Rayford had the feeling that the many verdicts he had just heard would have horrified him in the old days. And yet now, hearing the offenses of those who had rejected and rejected and rejected the One who was “not willing that any should perish” and seeing Jesus’ own tears as He pronounced the sentences, Rayford understood as never b
efore that Jesus sent no one to hell. They chose their own paths.

  __

  Now, with the earth and its atmosphere obliterated by fire and the wicked dead banished to the lake of fire for all eternity, all that remained was the new Jerusalem and Jesus on His throne. And in an instant Jesus created an entirely new earth, onto which the Holy City descended.

  Suddenly Rayford saw what John the revelator had seen more than three millennia before: a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. There was no more sea. A loud voice from heaven said, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

  Then Jesus said from the throne, “Behold, I make all things new. It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.”

  Jesus stood and faced the billions of believers, stretched wide His arms, and announced, “You chose to believe in Me and accept My death on the cross for your sins. My resurrection from the dead proved this sacrifice was acceptable to My Father. Therefore, on the basis of your faith, I invite you into the eternal city the Father and I have been preparing for you.”

  Rayford hardly knew where to look. Below him was the new earth, majestic, endless, beautiful, as the original Garden of Eden must have looked. And all around him the great city bore the very glory of God. Her light was like a most precious jasper stone, clear as crystal. She had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

  The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The city was laid out as a square, its length as great as its breadth. The wall was of jasper, and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street was also pure gold, like transparent glass.

  There was no temple in it, and Rayford knew why. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon, for there would be no more night, no need for a lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God, the Lamb, would be the light.

  The only residents of the new heaven and new earth were those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. And they would reign forever and ever.

  NOTE FROM

  DR. TIM LAHAYE

  JERRY AND I felt uniquely led of God to take on this challenging task of presenting what we believe is the truth of end times prophecy in fiction form. Our prayer was that it would take admittedly complex and often confusing elements of Scripture and help them come to life in your eyes.

  As you can imagine, this has been the most daunting and yet enjoyable and rewarding experience of our lives. We’ve attempted to follow the Scriptures carefully in a time-honored pattern of taking the Bible literally wherever possible. When it was obvious that the Scripture was symbolic, we carefully considered context and compared it to similar passages to try to determine what was truly intended by the original writers. We never tried to alter Scripture but sincerely attempted to use fiction to cast light on prophetic truth.

  By now there should be no question, but for the record let me say that yes, we believe what we have portrayed here will happen someday. Our deepest prayer is that this sixteen-book story has drawn you closer to God and caused you to either receive Him as your Savior or more deeply commit yourself to Him if you were already a believer. Thousands of readers have told us they became believers through reading these books, which makes everything else associated with them—media coverage, controversy, best-seller lists—pale in comparison. There’s nothing any novelist enjoys more than to hear that his work has changed a reader’s life. Well, when readers tell us that, they mean it literally.

  If you have a similar story of these books’ impact on your life, we would love to hear from you. Just write us in care of the publisher.

  One of the closing verses of the Bible says, “Let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” This makes it clear that salvation is a matter of the will—whoever wishes may come. If there is any question in your mind as to whether you have received the living Christ, I urge you on the basis of His challenge to change your will and receive Him as your Savior today.

  About the Authors

  Jerry B. Jenkins (www.jerryjenkins.com) is the writer of the Left Behind series. He owns the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, an organization dedicated to mentoring aspiring authors. Former vice president for publishing for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, he also served many years as editor of Moody magazine and is now Moody’s writer-at-large.

  His writing has appeared in publications as varied as Reader’s Digest, Parade, Guideposts, in-flight magazines, and dozens of other periodicals. Jenkins’s biographies include books with Billy Graham, Hank Aaron, Bill Gaither, Luis Palau, Walter Payton, Orel Hershiser, and Nolan Ryan, among many others. His books appear regularly on the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly best seller lists.

  Jerry is also the writer of the nationally syndicated sports story comic strip Gil Thorp, distributed to newspapers across the United States by Tribune Media Services.

  Jerry and his wife, Dianna, live in Colorado and have three grown sons.

  Dr. Tim LaHaye (www.timlahaye.com), who conceived the idea of fictionalizing an account of the Rapture and the Tribulation, is a noted author, minister, and nationally recognized speaker on Bible prophecy. He is the founder of both Tim LaHaye Ministries and The PreTrib Research Center. He also recently cofounded the Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy at Liberty University. Presently Dr. LaHaye speaks at many of the major Bible prophecy conferences in the U.S. and Canada, where his current prophecy books are very popular.

  Dr. LaHaye holds a doctor of ministry degree from Western Theological Seminary and a doctor of literature degree from Liberty University. For twenty-five years he pastored one of the nation’s outstanding churches in San Diego, which grew to three locations. It was during that time that he founded two accredited Christian high schools, a Christian school system of ten schools, and Christian Heritage College.

  Dr. LaHaye has written over forty books that have been published in more than thirty languages. He has written books on a wide variety of subjects, such as family life, temperaments, and Bible prophecy. His current fiction works, the Left Behind series, written with Jerry B. Jenkins, continue to appear on the best seller lists of the Christian Booksellers Association, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Times.

  He is the father of four grown children and grandfather of nine. Snow skiing, waterskiing, motorcycling, golfing, vacationing with family, and jogging are among his leisure activities.

 


 

  Tim LaHaye, Kingdom Come: The Final Victory

  (Series: Left Behind # 13)

 

 


 

 
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