OTY: The Revelation "Introduction (1B) -Gospel Truth

Gospel Truth

(Subjects in this Section)

(Continuation)

7-THE SEVEN VIALS 

1. 

Rev 16:2.

Sores. Noisome and grievous sores upon them that had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.

2.

Rev 16:3.

Sea as blood. The sea became as the blood of a dead man. Every living soul in the sea died.

3.

Rev 16:4.

Fountains blood. The rivers and fountains of water became blood.

4.

Rev 16:8,9.

Great heat. Vial poured out upon the sun. Men scorched with great heat.

5.

Rev 16:10,11.

Darkness. The kingdom of the beast was full of darkness; they gnawed their tongues for pain.

6.

Rev 16:12.

The Euphrates River dried up.

7.

Rev 16:17-21.

It is done. Voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and the greatest earthquake. Jerusalem was divided into three parts. The cities of the nations fell. Every island fled away. The mountains were not found. There was great hail.

8-THE SEVEN BLESSINGS OF THE REVELATION 

    BLESSED IS HE THAT READETH, AND THEY THAT HEAR THE WORDS OF THIS PROPHECY, AND KEEP THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN THEREIN: FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND-Rev 1:3.
    AND I HEARD A VOICE FROM HEAVEN SAYING UNTO ME, WRITE, BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DIE IN THE LORD FROM HENCEFORTH: YEA, SAITH THE SPIRIT, THAT THEY MAY REST FROM THEIR LABOURS; AND THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM-Rev 14:13.
    BEHOLD, I COME AS A THIEF. BLESSED IS HE THAT WATCHETH, AND KEEPETH HIS GARMENTS, LEST HE WALK NAKED, AND THEY SEE HIS SHAME-Rev 16:15.
    AND HE SAITH UNTO ME, WRITE, BLESSED ARE THEY WHICH ARE CALLED UNTO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB. AND HE SAITH UNTO ME, THESE ARE THE TRUE SAYINGS OF GOD-Rev 19:9.
BLESSED AND HOLY IS HE THAT HATH PART IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION: ON SUCH THE SECOND DEATH HATH NO POWER, BUT THEY SHALL BE PRIESTS OF GOD AND OF CHRIST, AND SHALL REIGN WITH HIM A THOUSAND YEARS-Rev 20:6.                        
    BEHOLD, I COME QUICKLY: BLESSED IS HE THAT KEEPETH THE SAYINGS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK-Rev 22:7.                    
    BLESSED ARE THEY THAT DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, THAT THEY MAY HAVE RIGHT TO THE TREE OF LIFE, AND MAY ENTER IN THROUGH THE GATES INTO THE CITY-Rev 22:14.

9-THE WHITE RAIMENT AND ROBES OF THE REVELATION 

    THOU HAST A FEW NAMES EVEN IN SARDIS WHICH HAVE NOT DEFILED THEIR GARMENTS; AND THEY SHALL WALK WITH ME IN WHITE: FOR THEY ARE WORTHY. HE THAT OVERCOMETH, THE SAME SHALL BE CLOTHED IN WHITE RAIMENT-Rev 3:4,5.
    I COUNSEL THEE TO BUY OF ME GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE, THAT THOU MAYEST BE RICH; AND WHITE RAIMENT, THAT THOU MAYEST BE CLOTHED, AND THAT THE SHAME OF THY NAKEDNESS DO NOT APPEAR; AND ANOINT THINE EYES WITH EYESALVE, THAT THOU MAYEST SEE-Rev 3:18.
    AND ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE WERE FOUR AND TWENTY SEATS: AND UPON THE SEATS I SAW FOUR AND TWENTY ELDERS SITTING, CLOTHED IN WHITE RAIMENT-Rev 4:4.
    AND WHITE ROBES WERE GIVEN UNTO EVERY ONE OF THEM; AND IT WAS SAID UNTO THEM, THAT THEY SHOULD REST YET FOR A LITTLE SEASON, UNTIL THEIR FELLOWSERVANTS ALSO AND THEIR BRETHREN, THAT SHOULD BE KILLED AS THEY WERE, SHOULD BE FULFILLED-Rev 6:11.
    AFTER THIS I BEHELD, AND, LO, A GREAT MULTITUDE, WHICH NO MAN COULD NUMBER, OF ALL NATIONS, AND KINDREDS, AND PEOPLE, AND TONGUES, STOOD BEFORE THE THRONE, AND BEFORE THE LAMB, CLOTHED WITH WHITE ROBES, AND PALMS IN THEIR HANDS. AND ONE OF THE ELDERS ANSWERED, SAYING UNTO ME, WHAT ARE THESE WHICH ARE ARRAYED IN WHITE ROBES? AND WHENCE CAME THEY? AND I SAID UNTO HIM, SIR, THOU KNOWEST. AND HE SAID TO ME, THESE ARE THEY WHICH CAME OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION, AND HAVE WASHED THEIR ROBES, AND MADE THEM WHITE IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB-Rev 7:9,13,14.
    AND TO HER WAS GRANTED THAT SHE SHOULD BE ARRAYED IN FINE LINENCLEAN AND WHITE: FOR THE FINE LINEN IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF SAINTS-Rev 19:8.
    AND THE ARMIES WHICH WERE IN HEAVEN FOLLOWED HIM UPON WHITE HORSES, CLOTHED IN FINE LINENWHITE AND CLEAN-Rev 19:14.

10-JESUS IS WHAT ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION? 

    THE FAITHFUL WITNESS-Rev 1:5
    THE FIRST BEGOTTEN OF THE DEAD-Rev 1:5
    THE PRINCE OF THE KINGS OF THE EARTH-Rev 1:5
    The ALPHA-Rev 1:8
    AND OMEGA-Rev 1:8
    THE BEGINNING-Rev 1:8
    THE ENDING-Rev 1:8, or THE END-Rev 21:6
    WHICH IS-Rev 1:8, or WHICH ART-Rev 11:17
    WHICH WAS-Rev 1:8
    WHICH IS TO COME-Rev 1:8
    THE ALMIGHTY-Rev 1:8
    THE FIRST-Rev 1:11
    THE LAST-Rev 1:11
    HE THAT LIVETH-Rev 1:18
    HE THAT...WAS DEAD-Rev 1:18
    ALIVE FOR EVERMORE-Rev 1:18
    THE SON OF GOD-Rev 2:18
    THE AMEN-Rev 3:14
    THE FAITHFUL...WITNESS-Rev 3:14
    THE…TRUE WITNESS-Rev 3:14
    THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD-Rev 3:14
    THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH-Rev 5:5
    THE ROOT OF DAVID-Rev 5:5
    A LAMB AS IT HAD BEEN SLAIN-Rev 5:6
    HAVING SEVEN HORNS AND SEVEN EYES-Rev 5:6
    HIM THAT LIVETH FOR EVER AND EVER-Rev 5:14
    The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY-Rev 11:17
    The KING OF SAINTS-Rev 15:3
    The LORD OF LORDS-Rev 17:14
    The KING OF KINGS-Rev 17:14
    THE LORD GOD-Rev 18:8
    THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT-Rev 19:6
    CALLED FAITHFUL AND TRUE-Rev 19:11
    CALLED THE WORD OF GOD-Rev 19:13
    THE LORD GOD OF THE HOLY PROPHETS-Rev 22:6
    THE OFFSPRING OF DAVID-Rev 22:16
    THE BRIGHT...STAR-Rev 22:16
    MORNING STAR-Rev 22:16

11-"NEW" IN THE REVELATION 

    A NEW NAME WRITTEN-Rev 2:17
    MY NEW NAME-Rev 3:12
    A NEW SONG-Rev 5:9
    A NEW SONG-Rev 14:3
    A NEW HEAVEN-Rev 21:1
    A NEW EARTH-Rev 21:1
    NEW JERUSALEM-Rev 3:12
    NEW JERUSALEM-Rev 21:2
    BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW-Rev 21:5

12-THE LAST ITEMS IN THE BIBLE 

Rev 22:17-gives God’s last invitation in the Bible to COME...AND…TAKE THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY.
Rev 22:18,19-gives God’s last warning in the Bible. Do not ADD...or TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS OF THE BOOK OF THIS PROPHECY.
Rev 22:20-gives God’s last promise, SURELY I COME QUICKLY.
Rev 22:20-the last word before the benediction is JESUS.
Rev 22:21-the last benediction in the Bible is, THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BE WITH YOU ALL. AMEN.
Rev 22:21-the last word in the Bible is, AMEN (or so be it O Lord).

 

Prophecy Digested

Prove All Things knowing that all Prophecy is about Jesus and God revealing His Son…To us..for our…Salvation. We post material that is questionable, objectionable, and in the opinion of the Editor of the Prophetic Perspective, valid to use as God chooses to. Sometimes that is highly suspect as material setting “dates” of the Rapture is, but often these posts, may have pieces that are correct to futher study.  

“Rarely is anyone ALL RIGHT or ALL WRONG”

Michael James Stone

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‘IN THE LATTER DAYS, PEOPLE WOULD BE LOVERS OF SELF RATHER THAN LOVERS OF GOD’

We do well to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness

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Just Jesus

PLEASE!

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

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OTY: The Revelation (3) -Chuck Missler (Video)


 





  
 
Prophecy Digested
Prove All Things knowing that all Prophecy is about Jesus and God revealing His Son…To us..for our…Salvation. We post material that is questionable, objectionable, and in the opinion of the Editor of the Prophetic Perspective, valid to use as God chooses to. Sometimes that is highly suspect as material setting “dates” of the Rapture is, but often these posts, may have pieces that are correct to futher study.  
“Rarely is anyone ALL RIGHT or ALL WRONG”
Fair Use Notice
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

          One Thousand Years”
              “a Biblical Prophecy site”
Last Days of the Last Generation                                “Last Generation”
                                      The simple format                                                                                      “the prophecy site just about prophecy”
‘IN THE LATTER DAYS, PEOPLE WOULD BE LOVERS OF SELF RATHER THAN LOVERS OF GOD’
We do well to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness
Not a political or personal agenda
Just Jesus
PLEASE!
This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.


Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

OTY: The Revelation "Intro" (1c) -Clarence Larkin


  

THE
BOOK OF REVELATION

A Study of
The Last Prophetic Book
of Holy Scripture
by Clarence Larkin
1919



The Title

"The Revelation Of
Jesus Christ,


Which God Gave Unto Him, To Show Unto His
Servants Things Which Must Shortly
Come To Pass;
And He Sent And Signified It By His
Angel Unto His Servant

John:

Who Bare Record Of The Word Of God,
And Of The Testimony Of Jesus Christ,
And Of All Things That He Saw.

The Blessing.

Blessed Is He That 'Readeth,'
And They That 'Hear' The Words Of This
Prophecy, And 'Keep' Those Things Which
Are Written Therein:

For The Time Is At Hand."


Revelation 1:1-3
The "Title" of the Book describes its character. It is not "The Revelation of St. John the Divine," as the heading in our Bibles would have us believe, but it is


"THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST."



The word "Revelation" in the Greek is "APOCALUPSIS." Hence the title "THE APOCALYPSE," by which it is often called. It is from the verb "APOCALUPTO," to unveil; from "APO," away from; and "KALUMMA," a veil. Hence "Apocalupsis" means a taking away of a veil, as when a statue is unveiled, that what is behind the veil may be seen. 


It is not so much a revelation or unveiling of the Person of Christ, though it discloses His High Priestly and Kingly glory, as it is the unveiling of those events that shall precede and accompany His return to the earth. 


This is seen from the fact that what is revealed in the Book, was given unto Jesus Christ, by God the Father, to show unto His Servants the "things which must shortly come to pass."


When Jesus was asked just before His death, when the things that He had prophesied against Jerusalem should come to pass (Mark 13:1-31), He replied in verse 32, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in Heaven, neither (NOT YET) the Son, but the FATHER." 


But after His Ascension He received from the Father the information that the Disciples asked for, and before the close of the first century, while at least one of those Disciples was still living, the beloved John, He sent an angel messenger to impart to him, and through him to the Churches, the information that is "unveiled" in this Book of Revelation. Thus we see that the canon of Scripture would be incomplete without this message from Jesus to His Church after His return to Heaven.




While the Apostle John is the writer of the Book he is not the author or composer. The Author was the Lord Jesus Himself. The Apostle was only a "scribe" or "amanuensis." Twice he declares that the contents of the Book were revealed to him by an angel. Rev. 1:1; 22:8. 


The fact that the style of the Book differs so strikingly from the other writings of John, as the Gospel and Epistles, is the strongest kind of evidence that John did not compose the Book, but that it was dictated or visualized to him. 


In its subject matter, and in the majesty and sublimity of its language, which is in harmony with its contents, the Book of Revelation differs from all other books, and is incomparably above them, thus revealing its Divine Authorship. 


In fact it is the only portion of the New Testament to which Jesus gives His endorsement, and affixes His signature, saying at its close--"I JESUS have sent Mine Angel to testify unto you these things in the Churches." Rev. 22:16.




The Book of Revelation then is not a compilation of Jewish "Apocalyptic Literature," intermixed with "Heathen Visions Christianized," thus being a "patchwork" of Jewish and Heathen Folklore, but it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass. This He sent by His ANGEL. 


Who this Angel was we are not told, but when John fell down to worship him, he said, "See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book." Rev. 22:8-9. He must therefore have been one of the old prophets raised for the purpose.




The Book is a PROPHETIC Book. 


It is not a history. It does not record the past, but reveals the future. It makes this claim in the Title--"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of THIS PROPHECY," Rev. 1:3; and four times in the concluding chapter. Rev. 22:7, 10, 18, 19. 


It is the summing up and consummation of all prophecy. 


In it all unfulfilled prophecy is fulfilled. It is the "finality" in prophecy until Jesus comes back. There has been no "new revelation" since it was written; and all those who claim to have received new and later "revelations" are impostors and false prophets. There is no place for "additions" or "subtractions" in the Book. It opens with a "blessing" promised the reader. and ends with a "curse" upon those who "ADD UNTO" or "TAKE FROM" it. Rev. 1:3; 22:18-19.




Nothing is said about understanding the Book, but blessed is he that "readeth," or if too illiterate to read, blessed are they that "hear," that is, listen to its reading. The reference here is doubtless to the "reader" and "hearers" of the Scripture as read in the Synagogue in the Apostle's day. 


That the Book should be shunned by many because of its mysterious character is no wonder. It is one of the "devices" of Satan to get people to neglect a Book that foretells his casting as "Prince of the Powers of the Air," and the "God of This Age," out of the Heavenlies; of his imprisonment in the "Bottomless Pit" for 1000 years; and his final casting into the Lake of Fire. While Satan hates all Scripture in general, he hates the books of Genesis and Revelation in particular. Therefore he attacks the authenticity of Genesis, and seeks to have Revelation neglected.




The Book is not only a "Prophetic" book, it is a "SYMBOLIC" book, that is, it is written largely in "symbolic" language, that is the meaning of the statement in the Title--"He sent and 'SIGNIFIED' it by His Angel unto His Servant John." 


The word "signified" means given in "signs" and "symbols" and should be pronounced "SIGN-IFIED." There are more "signs" and "symbols" in the Book of Revelation than in any other book in the Bible, but they are either explained there or in some other part of the Scriptures. No one can understand the Book of Revelation who does not understand the Book of Daniel.


 The Prophet Daniel was told to "seal up" the words of his prophecy until the "Time of the End," not the "end of time," but the end of the "Times of the Gentiles." Dan. 12:4, 9. But the writer of the Book of Revelation was told to "seal NOT" the sayings of the Book, for the TIME IS AT HAND. Rev. 22:10.




The symbolism of the Book of Revelation shows that it was written for a "special class," for those who are acquainted with the "Word of God," and who have "spiritual discernment," and not for the carnally minded reader. "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are REVEALED belong unto us and our children forever." Deu. 29:29. 


The Book of Revelation was written to reveal or disclose the purpose of God as to the earth and the nations, and we are not prying into God's secrets when we read and study it. It being the last prophecy, we naturally would expect it to sum up all previous prophecy, and as all previous prophecy had to do with the CHURCH, ISRAEL, and THE NATIONS, so we should expect this last prophecy to give us the final word as to them; and that is what it does. We find the CHURCH in the beginning, ISRAEL in the middle, and the saved NATIONS at the end. 


These three are also seen in the construction of the Holy City, New Jerusalem; where we have the CHURCH in the Foundation, represented by the names of the Twelve Apostles, and ISRAEL in the Gates, with the names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel written over them, and the saved NATIONS in the Streets, where they walk in the light of the City's Glory.




The Book is largely Jewish. 


This is seen in its "signs" and symbols, such as the Tabernacle, the Ark, the Altar, the Trumpets and Plagues, and the sealing of the 144,000 of Israel. It is Jewish because God in it, after the Church is taken out, deals again with Israel, and in chapters 6 to 19 inclusive He reveals what shall take place during the last or "Seventieth Week" of Daniel's "Seventy Weeks."




It is the Book of "CONSUMMATION" and its proper place in the sacred canon is where it is placed, at the end of the Bible. The Book is full of ACTION. Earth and heaven are brought near together. 


The clouds roll away, thrones, elders, and angelic forms are seen; harps, trumpets, cries from disembodied souls and choruses of song are heard. Earth touches heaven, and alas it touches hell also. Good and evil meet. 


There is no blending, but sharp contrasts, and a long protracted conflict that ends in victory for the good, and the "BEAST," the "FALSE PROPHET," SATAN and his hosts, and "DEATH" and HADES find their place in the "Lake of Fire." It describes the culmination of the evils foreseen and described in 1. Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Pet. 2:1-2; Jude 14-19, and declares the CONSUMMATION of that which the Prophets foretold, the creation of a


NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH


in which righteousness shall dwell. Isa. 65:17. At last the patience of the patriarchs and saints is rewarded; the longings of faith, and the hope of Israel and the Church fulfilled, and the glory of God shines unhindered on a scene of righteousness and peace. The Bible begins with Paradise LOST, and closes with Paradise REGAINED.
Prophecy Digested
Prove All Things knowing that all Prophecy is about Jesus and God revealing His Son…To us..for our…Salvation. We post material that is questionable, objectionable, and in the opinion of the Editor of the Prophetic Perspective, valid to use as God chooses to. Sometimes that is highly suspect as material setting “dates” of the Rapture is, but often these posts, may have pieces that are correct to futher study.  
“Rarely is anyone ALL RIGHT or ALL WRONG”
Fair Use Notice
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

          One Thousand Years”
              “a Biblical Prophecy site”
Last Days of the Last Generation                                “Last Generation”
                                      The simple format                                                                                      “the prophecy site just about prophecy”
‘IN THE LATTER DAYS, PEOPLE WOULD BE LOVERS OF SELF RATHER THAN LOVERS OF GOD’
We do well to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness
Not a political or personal agenda
Just Jesus
PLEASE!
This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them.  Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.


Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity, operates by you, with you, and for you. “Freely you have received, freely give”  Pass this on, everywhere you can, anytime you can, anyway you can. You will be blessed if you do.LastCallDigest@michaeljamesstone.com
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Natszal: Chuck Missler: The Rapture Part 1 of 12

The Rapture Series

Why Do you Believe?          What Do you Believe?             How Do You Believe?              Who Do You Believe?

“Reason to Believe”

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Natzsal

Natzsal

(blogger)

Michael James Stone

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Last Call

‘Your Devotion with Emotion’

This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them. 

Jesus  is Coming Very Soon.

Last Call Digest

Last Days of the Last Generation                                                                                             “Last Generation”

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

Posted via email from Natszal

Natszal: "Left" (1:1A) - LAHAYE & JENKINS

The Rapture Series

Why Do you Believe?          What Do you Believe?             How Do You Believe?              Who Do You Believe?

“Reason to Believe”

 

 

 

LEFT BEHIND:

A NOVEL OF THE EARTH'S LAST DAYS

Book 1 of the Left Behind Series

TIM LAHAYE & JERRY B. JENKINS

CHAPTER ONE

RAYFORD Steele's mind was on a woman he had never touched. With his fully loaded 747 on autopilot above the Atlantic en route to a 6 A.M. landing at Heathrow, Rayford had pushed from his mind thoughts of his family.

Over spring break he would spend time with his wife and twelve-year-old son. Their daughter would be home from college, too. But for now, with his first officer dozing, Rayford imagined Hattie Durham's smile and looked forward to their next meeting.

Hattie was Rayford's senior flight attendant. He hadn't seen her in more than an hour. Rayford used to look forward to getting home to his wife. Irene was attractive and vivacious enough, even at forty. But lately he had found himself repelled by her obsession with religion. It was all she could talk about.

God was OK with Rayford Steele. Rayford even enjoyed church occasionally. But since Irene had hooked up with a smaller congregation and was into weekly Bible studies and church every Sunday, Rayford had become uncomfortable.

Hers was not a church where people gave you the benefit of the doubt, assumed the best about you, and let you be. People there had actually asked him, to his face, what God was doing in his life.

“Blessing my socks off” had become the smiling response that seemed to satisfy them, but he found more and more excuses to be busy on Sundays. Rayford tried to tell himself it was his wife's devotion to a divine suitor that caused his mind to wander. But he knew the real reason was his own libido.

Besides, Hattie Durham was drop-dead gorgeous. No one could argue that. What he enjoyed most was that she was a toucher. Nothing inappropriate, nothing showy. She simply touched his arm as she brushed past or rested her hand gently on his shoulder when she stood behind his seat in the cockpit.

It wasn't her touch alone that made Rayford enjoy her company. He could tell from her expressions, her demeanor, her eye contact that she at least admired and respected him. Whether she was interested in anything more, he could only guess. And so he did.

They had spent time together, chatting for hours over drinks or dinner, sometimes with coworkers, sometimes not. He had not returned so much as one brush of a finger, but his eyes had held her gaze, and he could only assume his smile had made its point.

Maybe today. Maybe this morning, if her coded tap on the door didn't rouse his first officer, he would reach and cover the hand on his shoulder—in a friendly way he hoped she would recognize as a step, a first from his side, toward a relationship.

And a first it would be. He was no prude, but Rayford had never been unfaithful to Irene. He'd had plenty of opportunities. He had long felt guilty about a private necking session he enjoyed at a company Christmas party more than twelve years before. Irene had stayed home, uncomfortably past her ninth month carrying their surprise tagalong son, Ray Jr.

Though under the influence, Rayford had known enough to leave the party early. It was clear Irene noticed he was slightly drunk, but she couldn't have suspected anything else, not from her straight-arrow captain. He was the pilot who had once consumed two martinis during a snowy shutdown at O'Hare and then voluntarily grounded himself when the weather cleared. He offered to pay for bringing in a relief pilot, but Pan-Continental was so impressed that instead they made an example of his self-discipline and wisdom.

In a couple of hours Rayford would be the first to see hints of the sun, a teasing palette of pastels that would signal the reluctant dawn over the continent. Until then, the blackness through the window seemed miles thick. His groggy or sleeping passengers had window shades down, pillows and blankets in place. For now the plane was a dark, humming sleep chamber for all but a few wanderers, the attendants, and one or two responders to nature's call.

The question of the darkest hour before dawn, then, was whether Rayford Steele should risk a new, exciting relationship with Hattie Durham. He suppressed a smile. Was he kidding himself? Would someone with his reputation ever do anything but dream about a beautiful woman fifteen years his junior? He wasn't so sure anymore. If only Irene hadn't gone off on this new kick.

Would it fade, her preoccupation with the end of the world, with the love of Jesus, with the salvation of souls? Lately she had been reading everything she could get her hands on about the Rapture of the church. “Can you imagine, Rafe,” she exulted, “Jesus coming back to get us before we die?”

“Yeah, boy,” he said, peeking over the top of his newspaper, “that would kill me.” She was not amused. “If I didn't know what would happen to me,” she said, “I wouldn't be glib about it.”

“I do know what would happen to me,” he insisted. “I'd be dead, gone, finis. But you, of course, would fly right up to heaven.” He hadn't meant to offend her. He was just having fun. When she turned away he rose and pursued her. He spun her around and tried to kiss her, but she was cold.

“Come on, Irene,” he said. “Tell me thousands wouldn't just keel over if they saw Jesus coming back for all the good people.”

She had pulled away in tears. “I've told you and told you. Saved people aren't good people”, “they're just forgiven, yeah, I know,” he said, feeling rejected and vulnerable in his own living room. He returned to his chair and his paper. “If it makes you feel any better, I'm happy for you that you can be so cocksure.”

“I only believe what the Bible says,” Irene said. Rayford shrugged. He wanted to say, “Good for you,” but he didn't want to make a bad situation worse. In a way he had envied her confidence, but in truth he wrote it off to her being a more emotional, more feelings-oriented person. He didn't want to articulate it, but the fact was, he was brighter—yes, more intelligent.

He believed in rules, systems, laws, patterns, things you could see and feel and hear and touch. If God was part of all that, OK. A higher power, a loving being, a force behind the laws of nature, fine. Let's sing about it, pray about it, feel good about our ability to be kind to others, and go about our business. Rayford's greatest fear was that this religious fixation would not fade like Irene's Amway days, her Tupperware phase, and her aerobics spell. He could just see her ringing doorbells and asking if she could read people a verse or two.

Surely she knew better than to dream of his tagging along.

Irene had become a full-fledged religious fanatic, and somehow that freed Rayford to daydream without guilt about Hattie Durham. Maybe he would say something, suggest something, hint at something as he and Hattie strode through Heathrow toward the cab line. Maybe earlier.

Dare he assert himself even now, hours before touchdown?

Natzsal

Michael James Stone

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