|Book Series||Left Behind|
|Author||Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins|
|Publisher||Tyndale House Publishing|
|Followed By||The Rising (publishing order) |
Kingdom Come (canonical order)
It is the day of the Lord's coming. Tsion Ben-Judah has been killed in Jerusalem, and Buck Williams and Rayford Steele are mortally wounded. Nicolae Carpathia is taking heat over the destruction of New Babylon as people who are dependent upon its financial resources are committing suicide over the loss of their fortunes. Mac McCullum goes to look for Rayford when he is called to go to Jerusalem to find Buck, disguised as a Global Community forces officer. It is there that he discovers that it is Buck who died by GC artillery. He is then called into a meeting held by Nicolae Carpathia in an underground bunker set up in Solomon's Stables, where he witnesses Suhail Akbar being dressed down for mentioning about New Babylon's destruction, the brutal slaying of a Global Community officer for his nervousness, and Lucifer briefly departing from Nicolae to remind him that he is nothing more than a shell for him to dwell in. Over in the United States, Enoch Dumas continues his ministry to bring as many no-account street people as he could find to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior before His coming.
Meanwhile in Petra, Abdullah Smith finds Rayford mortally wounded but still alive. He calls Leah Rose for medical help, who then has Razor show up in an ATV to safely transport Rayford back to the compound. Chaim Rosenzweig visits Rayford in the infirmary to give him company when he gets the call that Buck has died. While Mac is en route to Petra, the moon suddenly disappears from the night sky, and then lightning flashes and meteors come falling down upon the Global Community forces, squashing a minority of them but not stopping them from advancing. Mac joins Rayford and Chaim in the infirmary during the ensuing darkness that lasts a few hours when they see "the sign of the Son of Man", a cross made of electrical energy, appear in the sky. The instant that it appears, Rayford is miraculously and completely healed of all his injuries, and Leah and Hannah Palemoon see that all their patients in the infirmary are also miraculously healed. As Chang Wong and Naomi Tiberias discover on their computers, the cross in the sky also made the number of new Jewish converts suddenly jump, fulfilling prophecy that a third of Israel shall be saved.
At this point, Nicolae Carpathia joins with Leon Fortunato to lead the Global Community troops around Petra to storm the city and overtake the believers. As they begin to advance upon the city, the cross disappears from the sky and suddenly immobilizes the troops, causing them to be stuck with their vehicles and weapons and lights inoperable. But seconds after that, a bright thick blinding shadowless light covers the land, and everyone sees that coming out of heaven is Jesus Christ with His army of saints following behind Him. He speaks, "I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Almighty", and as He speaks, the Global Community troops around Petra all die. Nicolae and Leon flee to Bozrah, hoping that the troops stationed there will prevail against Jesus and His army, but the same thing happens there: Jesus speaks, and all the troops and GC resources are destroyed, their corpses becoming food for the birds of the air.
While this happens, Rayford, Mac, and Abdullah chase after Nicolae and Leon in a Hummer, watching the tremendous carnage as the majority of the remaining Unity Army forces are killed at the Valley of Megiddo amidst the words of Jesus and the hailstones that fall at the seventh Bowl Judgment. Nicolae and Leon are traveling to Jerusalem in the Royal Humvee with Viv Ivins when this happens, during which Viv Ivins is killed by one of the massive hailstones. God turns the marshes of blood to ice, which soon melts and becomes a thick mire. As Nicolae and Leon try to flee to Jerusalem, all the people in Petra are given supernatural power to travel from there to Jerusalem by running at 70 miles per hour. When they finally reach Jerusalem, Nicolae attempts to storm the Jewish rebels hiding at the Temple Mount with an army on horseback, but the troops are afflicted with a flesh-dissolving plague that affects both humans and horses. Nicolae tries to curse God, but the moment he tries, a global earthquake occurs that levels all the mountains and elevates Jerusalem.
Nicolae and Leon then gallop off to the Mount of Olives in a final attempt to destroy Jesus and the army of saints, along with the Jewish rebels, but the instant Jesus steps foot on the mountain, it splits into a valley running from east to west, causing the last feeble vestiges of the Global Community forces to fall as the rebels rejoice at Jesus' return; the Global Community is finally no more. Nicolae and Leon are briefly seen fleeing on horseback, but to no avail, as the Archangel Michael captures them.
After Jesus enters Jerusalem through the Golden Gate, He calls all believers unto Himself and greets them all simultaneously, speaking to each of them individually and supernaturally. Following this event, Nicolae and Leon are brought before Jesus for judgment along with Ashtaroth, Baal, and Cankerworm, the three froglike spirits that came from the mouths of Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet. The three spirits fearfully humble themselves before Jesus prior to being destroyed. Leon also bows before Jesus and proclaims to renounce the works of Satan and Antichrist, but is still sentenced to the Lake of Fire due to the atrocities he committed. Nicolae refuses to bow before Jesus, but ends up doing so when Satan is cast out of him, confessing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and that his own life was a waste. At Jesus' command, Michael throws Nicolae and Leon into a hole in the ground that leads to the Lake of Fire, where they are banished for eternity, their suffering and writhing in the eternal flames is heard briefly before the hole closes. Jesus also deals with Satan, having Michael the archangel bound him up in a chain and then taken into the bottomless pit, where he is to remain until the thousand years are finished.
When this gathering had ended, Rayford and all the single men join Chaim in his house for a delicious meal of freshly-cut lamb from a Jewish butcher who had then reopened shop with a line of animals just waiting to be butchered. All the single women and the married people with children went to Eleazar Tiberias' house for the same. They realize from their Bible studies that the coming of the Lord actually isn't the start of the Millennial Kingdom period, but rather there is a 75-day period between His coming and the start of that Kingdom, derived from Daniel's prophecy of the 1290 Days.
On the day following the Lord's return, all the people of the earth, including believers, are gathered at the new Valley of Jehoshaphat for the "sheep and goats" judgment by Jesus Himself. All the believers who were considered the "sheep" Jesus had granted them to enter into His kingdom for caring for "the least of His brethren", and all the others that were the "goats", that didn't care for "the least of His brethren", were sent away into everlasting punishment. After this, Jesus rewarded the Old Testament saints for their faith, and then rewarded the Tribulation martyrs for their faithful witness. When this was done, Rayford is happily reunited with his wife Irene and his son Raymie, now fully grown, as well as with his friends and family members that went on to be with Jesus ahead of him. Buck (now going by his first name Cameron) and Chloe re-unite with Kenny, Tsion and Chaim are re-united as well as Abdullah and his wife Yasmine. Rayford amusingly tells Irene that she is entitled to "one cosmic I-told-you-so" before they are all re-united with the rest of the resurrected members of the Tribulation force.
Characters In Glorious Appearing
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God
- Rayford Steele, the last surviving core member of the Tribulation Force
- Kenny Bruce Williams, son of Buck and Chloe Williams
- Chaim Rosenzweig, former Israeli scientist
- Eleazar Tiberias, former restauranteur
- Naomi Tiberias, daughter of Eleazar
- Mac McCullum, former pilot to Nicolae Carpathia
- Abdullah Smith, former pilot to Nicolae Carpathia
- George Sebastian, former military commander
- Priscilla Sebastian, George's wife
- Beth Ann Sebastian, daughter of George and Priscilla Sebastian
- Chang Wong, computer genius formerly working at New Babylon
- Gustaf Zuckermandel, Jr., master of disguises and fake IDs
- Razor, soldier under George Sebastian's command
- Otto Weser, former German woodsman
- Leah Rose, nurse at the infirmary in Petra
- Hannah Palemoon, nurse at the infirmary in Petra
- Enoch Dumas, pastor of The Place
- Michael the archangel, a servant of Jesus Christ
- Nicolae Carpathia, the Antichrist
- Leon Fortunato, the False Prophet
- Viv Ivins, spiritual mentor to Nicolae Carpathia
- Suhail Akbar, former Security and Intelligence Chief
- Satan, the enemy of God who indwelt Nicolae Carpathia
- The three froglike spirits—Ashtaroth, Baal, and Cankerworm
- Conrad Graham, a Young Tribulation Force member
- Darrion Stahley (voice only), a Young Tribulation Force member
- Charlie (voice only), a Young Tribulation Force member
- The "sign of the Son of Man" appearing (Matt 24:30)
- The glorious appearing of Jesus Christ
- The seventh Bowl Judgment
- The splitting of the Mount of Olives into a valley
- Antichrist and False Prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:19)
- Satan is chained up and bound for 1000 years (Rev. 20:1-3)
- The "sheep and goats" judgment
- Some possible continuity errors exist in this story. For example, London and New York City, though mentioned as cities that were destroyed in World War III, reappear here near the end of the Triblation as cities that were financially affected by the destruction of New Babylon. Also, Jesus tells Leon Fortunato that he spent seven years in the role of the False Prophet, although he had actually spent 3 1/2 years in that role promoting the false religion of Carpathianism.
- The story has a non-comedic use of "blackface" in regards to Mac McCullum being disguised as a Global Community officer of a different race, though at the point of the conflict no one on either side of it either notices or even cares to be offended by it.
- This is the twelfth book in the series.
- It is revealed that Cameron Williams was the Tribulation Force member that died on the last page of Armageddon.
- The last chronological book in the series in which Cameron is referred to as Buck.
- The first book in the series in which all of the members of the Tribulation Force were in the same place at the same time.
- Young Tribulation Force members Conrad Graham, Darrion Stahley, and Charlie all make cameos in this book when they interact with Enoch Dumas.