About the Author
A prominent pastor, Tim LaHaye (1926-2016) was a New York Times bestselling author of more than 70 books, many on biblical prophecy and end-times. He coauthored the record-shattering Left Behind series (with Jerry B. Jenkins) and is considered one of America’s foremost authorities on biblical end-times prophecy. LaHaye earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Western Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Literature degree from Liberty University.
Read an Excerpt
Rayford Steele wore the uniform of the enemy of his soul, and he hated himself for it. He strode through Iraqi sand toward Baghdad Airport in his dress blues and was struck by the incongruity of it all.
From across the parched plain he heard the wails and screams of hundreds he wouldn't begin to be able to help. Any prayer of finding his wife alive depended on how quickly he could get to her. But there was no quick here. Only sand. And what about Chloe and Buck in the States? And Tsion?
Desperate, frantic, mad with frustration, he ripped off his natty waistcoat with its yellow braid, heavy epaulettes, and arm patches that identified a senior officer of the Global Community. Rayford did not take the time to unfasten the solid-gold buttons but sent them popping across the desert floor. He let the tailored jacket slide from his shoulders and clutched the collar in his fists. Three, four, five times he raised the garment over his head and slammed it to the ground. Dust billowed and sand kicked up over his patent leather shoes.
Rayford considered abandoning all vestiges of his connection to Nicolae Carpathia's regime, but his attention was drawn again to the luxuriously appointed arm patches. He tore at them, intending to rip them free, as if busting himself from his own rank in the service of the Antichrist. But the craftsmanship allowed not even a fingernail between the stitches, and Rayford slammed the coat to the ground one more time. He stepped and booted it like an extra point, finally aware of what had made it heavier. His phone was in the pocket.
As he knelt to retrieve his coat, Rayford'smaddening logic returnedthe practicality that made him who he was. Having no idea what he might find in the ruins of his condominium, he couldn't treat as dispensable what might constitute his only remaining set of clothes.
Rayford jammed his arms into the sleeves like a little boy made to wear a jacket on a warm day. He hadn't bothered to shake the grit from it, so as he plunged on toward the skeletal remains of the airport, Rayford's lanky frame was less impressive than usual. He could have been the survivor of a crash, a pilot who'd lost his cap and seen the buttons stripped from his uniform.
Rayford could not remember a chill before sundown in all the months he'd lived in Iraq. Yet something about the earthquake had changed not only the topography, but also the temperature. Rayford had been used to damp shirts and a sticky film on his skin. But now wind, that rare, mysterious draft, chilled him as he speed dialed Mac McCullum and put the phone to his ear.
At that instant he heard the chug and whir of Mac's chopper behind him. He wondered where they were going.
"Mac here," cam McCullum's gravely voice.
Rayford whirled and watched the copter eclipse the descending sun. "I canít believe this thing works," Rayford said. He had slammed it to the ground and kicked it, but he also assumed the earthquake would have taken out nearby cellular towers.
"Soon as I get out of range, it wonít, Ray," Mac said.
"Everything's down for as far as I can see. These units act like walkie-talkies when we're close. When you need a cellular boost, you won't find it."
"So any chance of call the States"
"Is out of the question," Mac said. "Ray, Potentate Carpathia wants to speak to you, but first"
"I don't want to talk to him, and you can tell him that."
"But before I give you to him," Mac continued, "I need to remind you that our meetings, yours and mine, is still on for tonight. Right?"
Rayford slowed and stared at the ground, running a hand through his hair. "What? What are you talking about?"
"All right then, very good," Mac said. "We're still meeting tonight then. Now the potentate"
"I understand you want to talk to me later, Mac, but don't put Carpathia on or I swear I'll"
"Stand by for the potentate."
Rayford switched the phone to his right hand, ready to smash it on the ground, but he restrained himself. When avenues of communication reopened, he wanted to be able to check on his loved ones.
"Captain Steele," came the emotionless tone of Nicolae Carpathia.
"Iím here," Rayford said, allowing his disgust to come through. He assumed God would forgive anything he said to the Antichrist, but he swallowed what he really wanted to say.
"Though we both know how I could respond to your egregious disrespect and insubordination," Carpathia said, "I choose to forgive you."
Rayford continued walking, clenching his teeth to keep from screaming at the man.
"I can tell you are a loss for how to express your gratitude," Carpathia continued. "Now listen to me. I have a safe place and provisions where my international ambassadors and staff will join me. You and I both know we need each other, so I suggest"
"You don't need me," Rayford said. "And I don't need your forgiveness. You have a perfectly capable pilot right next to you, so let me suggest that you forget me."
"Just be ready when he lands," Carpathia said, the first hint of frustration in his voice.
"The only place I would accept a ride to is the airport," Rayford said. "And Iím almost there. Don't have Mac set down any closer to this mess."
"Captain Steele," Carpathia began again, condescendingly, "I admire your irrational belief that you can somehow find your wife, but we both know that is not going to happen."
Rayford said nothing. He feared Carpathia was right, but he would never give him the satisfaction of admitting it. And he would certainly never quit looking until he proved to himself Amanda had not survived.
"Come with us, Captain Steele. Just reboard, and I will treat your outburst as if it never"
"I'm not going anywhere until I've found my wife! Let me talk to Mac."
"Officer McCullum is busy. I will pass along a message."
"Mac could fly that thing with no hands. Now let me talk to him."
"If there is no message, then, Captain Steele"
"All right, you win. Just tell Mac"
"Now is no time to neglect protocol, Captain Steele. A pardoned subordinate is behooved to address his superior"
"All right, Potentate Carpathia, just tell Mac to come for me if I don't find a way back by 2200 hours."
"And should you find a way back, the shelter is three and a half clicks northeast of the original headquarters. You will need the following password: 'Operation Wrath.'"
"What?" Carpathia knew this was coming?
"You heard me, Captain Steele."
Cameron "Buck" Williams stepped gingerly through the rubble near the ventilation shaft where he had heard the clear, healthy voice of Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah, trapped in the underground shelter. Tsion assured him he was unhurt, just scared and claustrophobic. That place was small enough without the church imploding above it. With no way out unless someone tunneled to him, the rabbi, Buck knew, would soon feel like a caged animal.
Had Tsion been in immediate danger, Buck would have dug with his bare hands to free him. But Buck felt like a doctor in triage, having to determine who most urgently needed his help. Assuring Tsion he would return, he headed toward the safe house to find his wife.
To get through the trash that had been the only church home he ever knew, Buck had to again crawl past the remains of the beloved Loretta. What a friend she had been, first to the late Bruce Barnes and then to the rest of the Tribulation Force. The Force had begun with four: Rayford, Chloe, Bruce, and Buck. Amanda was added. Bruce was lost. Tsion was added.
Was it possible now that they had been reduced to just Buck and Tsion? Buck didn't want to think about it. He found his watch gunked up with mud, asphalt, and a tiny shard of windshield. He wiped the crystal across his pant leg and felt the crusty mixture tear his trousers and bit into his knee. It was nine o'clock in the morning in Mt. Prospect, and Buck heard an air raid siren, a tornado warning siren, emergency vehicle sirensone close, two farther away. Shouts. Screams. Sobbing. Engines. Could he live without Chloe? Buck had been given a second chance; he was here for a purpose. He wanted the love of his life by his side, and he prayedselfishly he realizedthat she had not already preceded him to heaven.
In his peripheral vision, Buck noticed the selling of his own left cheek. He had felt neither pain nor blood and had assumed the wound was minor. Now he wondered. He reached in his breast pocket for his mirrored lensed sunglasses. One lens was in pieces. In the reflection of the other he saw a scarecrow, hair wild, eyes white with fear, mouth open and sucking air. The wound was not bleeding, yet it appeared deep. There would be no time for treatment.
Buck emptied his shirt pocket but kept the framesa gift from Chloe. He studied the ground as he moved back to the Range Rover, picking his way through glass, nails, and bricks like an old man, assuring himself solid purchase.
Buck passed Loretta's car and what was left of her, determined not to look. Suddenly the earth moved, and he stumbled. Loretta's car, which he had been unable to budge moments before, rocked and disappeared. The ground had given way under the parking lot. Buck stretched out on his stomach and peeked over the edge of a new crevice. The mangled car rested atop a water main twenty feet beneath the earth. The blown tires pointed up like the feet of bloated roadkill. Curled in a frail ball atop the wreckage was the Raggedy Ann-like body of Loretta, a tribulation saint. There would be more shifting of the earth. Reaching Loretta's body would be impossible. If he was also to find Chloe dead, Buck wished God had let him plunge under the earth with Loretta's car.
Buck rose slowly, suddenly aware of what the roller coaster ride through the earthquake had done to his joints and muscles. He surveyed the damage to his vehicle. Though it had rolled and been hit from all sides, it appeared remarkably roadworthy. The driver's-side door was jammed, the windshield in gummy pieces throughout the interior, and the rear seat had broken away from the floor on one side. One tire had been slashed to the steel belts but looked strong and held air.
Where were Buck's phone and laptop? He had set them on the front seat. He hoped against hope neither had flown out in the mayhem. Buck opened the passenger door and peered onto the floor of the front seat. Nothing. He looked under the rear seats, all the way to the back. In a corner, open and with one screen hinge cracked, was his laptop.
Buck found his phone in a door well. He didn't expect to be able to get through to anyone, with all the damage to cellular towers (and everything else above ground). He switched it on, and it went through a self-test and showed zero range. Still, he had to try. He dialed Loretta's home. He didn't even get a malfunction message from the phone company. The same happened when he dialed the church, then Tsion's shelter. As if playing a cruel joke, the phone made noises as if trying to get through. Then, nothing.
Buck's landmarks were gone. He was grateful the Range Rover had a built in compass. Even the church seemed twisted from its normal perspective on the corner. Poles and lines and traffic lights were down, buildings flattened, trees uprooted, fences strewn about.
Buck made sure the Range Rover was in four-wheel drive. He could barely travel twenty feet before having to punch the car over some rise. He kept his eyes peeled to avoid anything that might further damage the Roverit might have to last him through the end of the Tribulation. The best he could figure, that was still more than five years away.
As Buck rolled over chunks of asphalt and concrete where the street once lay, he glanced again at the vestiges of New Hope Village Church. Half the building was underground. But that one section of pews, which had once faced west, now faced north and glistened in the sun. The entire sanctuary floor appeared to have turned ninety degrees.
As he passed the church, he stopped and stared. A shaft of light appeared between each pair of pews in the ten-pew section except in one spot. There something blocked Buck's view. He threw the Rover into reverse and carefully backed up. On the floor in front of one of those pews were the bottoms of a pair of tennis shoes, toes pointing up. Buck wanted, above all, to get to Loretta's and search for Chloe, but he could not leave someone lying in the debris. Was it possible someone had survived?
He set the brake and scrambled over the passenger seat and out the door, recklessly trotting through stuff that could slice through his shoes. He wanted to be practical but there was no time for that. Buck lost his footing ten feet from those tennis shoes and pitched face forward. He took the brunt of the fall on his palms and chest.
He pulled himself up and knelt next to the tennis shoes, which were attached to a body. Thin legs in dark blue jeans led to narrow hips. From the waist up, the small body was hidden under the pew. The right hand was tucked underneath, the left lay open and limp. Buck found no pulse, but he noticed the hand was broad and bony, the third finger bearing a man's wedding band. Buck slipped it off, assuming a surviving wife might want it.
Buck grabbed the belt buckle and dragged the body from under the bench. When the head slid into view, Buck turned away. He recognized Donny Moore's blond coloring only from his eyebrows. The rest of his hair, even his sideburns, was encrusted with blood.
Buck didn't know what to do in the face of the dead and dying at a time like this. Where would anyone begin disposing of millions of corpses all over the world? Buck gently pushed the body back under the pew but was stopped by an obstruction. He reached underneath and found Donny's beat up, hard-sided briefcase. Buck tried the latches, but combination locks had been set. He lugged the briefcase back to the Range Rover and tried again to find his bearings. He was a scant four blocks from Loretta's, but could he even find the street?
Rayford was encouraged to see movement in the distance at Baghdad Airport. He saw more wreckage and carnage on the ground than people scurrying about, but at least not all had been lost.
A small, dark figure with a strange gait appeared on the horizon. Rayford watched, fascinated, as the image materialized into a stocky, middle-aged Asian in a business suit. The man walked directly toward Rayford, who waited expectantly, wondering if he could help. But as the man drew near, Rayford realized he was not aware of his surroundings. He wore a wing-tipped dress shoe on one foot with only a sock sliding down the ankle of the other. His suit coat was buttoned, but his tie hung outside it. His left hand dripped blood. His hair was mussed, yet his glasses appeared to have been untouched by whatever he had endured.
"Are you all right?" Rayford asked. The man ignored him. "Can I help you?"
The man limped past, mumbling in his own tongue. Rayford turned to cal him back, and the man became a silhouette in the orange sun. There was nothing in that direction but the Tigris River. "Wait!" Rayford called after him. "Come back! Let me help you!"
The man ignored him, and Rayford dialed Mac again. "Let me talk to Carpathia," he said.
"Sure," Mac said. "We're set on that meeting tonight, right?"
"Right, now let me talk to him."
"I mean our personal meeting, right?"
"Yes! I don't know what you want, but yes, I get the point. Now I need to talk to Carpathia."
"Okay, sorry. Here he is."
"Change your mind, Captain Steele?" Carpathia said.
"Hardly. Listen, do you know Asian languages?"
"What does this mean?" he asked, repeating what the man had said.
"That is easy," Carpathia said. "It means, 'You cannot help me. Leave me alone.'"
"Bring Mac back around, would you? This man is going to die of exposure."
"I thought you were looking for your wife."
"I can't leave a man to wander to his death."
"Millions are dead and dying. You cannot save all of them."
"I do not see him, Captain Steele. If you think you can save him, be my guest. I do not mean to be cold, but I have the whole world at heart just now."
Rayford slapped his phone shut and hurried back to the lurching, mumbling man. As he drew near, Rayford was horrified to see why his gait was so strange and why he trailed a river of blood. He had been impaled by a gleaming white chunk of metal, apparently some piece of fuselage. Why he was still alive, how he survived or climbed out, Rayford couldn't imagine. The shard was imbedded from his hip to the back of his head. It had to have missed vital organs by centimeters.
Rayford touched the man's shoulder, causing him to wrench away. He sat heavily, and with a huge sigh toppled slowly in the sand and breathed his last. Rayford checked for a pulse, not surprised to find none. Overcome, he turned his back and knelt in the dirt. Sobs wracked his body.
Rayford raised his hands to the sky. "Why God? Why do I have to see this? Why send someone across my path I can't even help? Spare Chloe and Buck! Please keep Amanda alive for me! I know I don't deserve anything, but I can't go on without her!"
Usually Buck drove two blocks south and two east from the church to Loretta's. But now there were no more blocks. No sidewalks, no streets, no intersections. For as far as Buck could see, every house in the neighborhood had been leveled. Could it have been this bad all over the world? Tsion taught that a quarter of the world's population would fall victim to the wrath of the Lamb. But Buck would be surprised if even a quarter of the population of Mt. Prospect was still alive.
He lined up the Range Rover on a southeastern course. A few degrees above the horizon the day was as beautiful as any Buck could remember. The sky, where not interrupted by smoke and dust, was baby blue. No clouds. Bright sun.
Geysers shot skyward where fire hydrants had ruptured. A woman crawled out from the wreckage of her home, a bloody stump at her shoulder where her arm had been. She screamed at Buck, "Kill me! Kill me!"
He shouted, "No!" and leaped from the Rover as she bent and grabbed a chunk of glass from a broken window and dragged it across her neck. Buck continued to yell as he sprinted to her. He only hoped she was too weak to do anything but superficial damage to her neck, and he prayed she would miss her carotid artery.
He was within a few feet of her when she stared, startled. The glass broke and tinkled to the ground. She stepped back and tripped, her head smacking loudly on the a chunk of concrete. Immediately the blood stopped pumping from her exposed arteries. Her eyes were lifeless as Buck forced her eyes open and covered her mouth with his. Buck blew air into her throat, making her chest rise and her blood trickle, but it was futile.
Buck looked around, wondering whether to try to cover her. Across the way an elderly man stood at the edge of a crater and seemed to will himself to tumble into it. Buck could take no more. Was God preparing him for the likelihood that Chloe had not survived?
He wearily climbed back into the Range Rover, deciding he absolutely could not stop and help anyone else who did not appear to really want it. Everywhere he looked he saw devastation, fire, water, and blood.
Against his better judgment, Rayford left the dead man in the desert sand. What would he do when he saw others in various states of demise? How could Carpathia ignore this? Had he not a shred of humanity? Mac would have surely stayed and helped.
Rayford despaired of seeing Amanda alive again, and though he would search with all that was in him, he already wished he had arranged an earlier rendezvous with Mac. Heíd seen awful things in his life, but the carnage at this airport was going to top them all. A shelter, even the Antichristís, sounded better than this.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is volumne 4 in the Left Behind series and it is a great read. One that you could just sit and read in one session, it's that good.
I love this series it keeps getting better and metter
The fourth in the Left Behind series, this book picks up with our main characters immediately following a devastating global earthquake. Buck and Rayford are searching for their loved ones; Rayford's wife Amanda (one of the few characters in this series I care very little for) has her integrity called into question - was she truly a believer? or was she working for Carpathia? - and she's missing; Tsion Ben-Judah begins to post his teachings online and antics ensue to keep the website encrypted so he may continue without GC interruption; and hearts really are turning in great numbers to Christ. Carpathia is on a rampage (when isn't he...) to rebuild his Global Community. Believers begin to recognize a "mark" on the forehead of other true believers (this will play a major part in determining Amanda's truthfulness) and allows more espionage, because really, how else will they have any clue as to who to trust! And, the Judgments begin. Lots of events....and I can't wait to see what happens next.
This is the 2nd time I have read this series and would recommend everyone from teens to adults , from believers to non-believers to read this series. It is an awesome series to read. Love it !
These books r great everyone she read these. God works in great ways.
The story keeps getting better and better! This book begins after a catastrophic earthquake has taken place. Only Israel was protected. Rayford Steele is still working as a pilot for the antichrist and the way he talks to him is sometimes very humorous. The antichrist is, as well, and it's interesting to imagine what he will really be like. When the book begins, Amanda and Tsion Ben-Judah are both lost as Rayford and Buck look for them in different parts of the world. Later, doubt is cast on Amanda concerning whether or not she is/was really a believer. The main action of this book concerns Rayford searching for her or her body, and trying to discover if she was really a Christian or was working with Carpathia, the antichrist. This book is a fast-paced read and I highly recommend it along with the rest of the series. I read Soul Harvest 8 years ago and it's exciting to come back to it again.
This is a great book! It is full of suspense and is a great read. It had me on my toes the whole time. I really like these series since they focus on the end of the world in a religious way. I really love this book and recommend it to everyone. Great job Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins on writing it!
This fourth book in the best-selling Left Behind series allows readers to watch the willful fracas between the evil incarnate Nicolae Carpathia and newly founded followers of Christ. Trib Forcers Rayford Steele and Buck Williams get alienated during the world cataclysm. As Rayford chauffeurs Carpathia around his empire, thousands of people begin to hunger for the Truth that continues to defy walls and boundaries. Two prophetic witnesses at the Wailing Wall stir faith for all the new followers. Chaos fervently builds as the world learns about an evil called the Antichrist. This was a book I reviewed for Tyndale House Publishers.
Soul Harvest is number four of the Left Behind series. It is about the conversion of millions of people after the rapture has taken place. It is a take on the ones left behind getting God's second chance at salvation. Two of the characters that were converted are beaming lessons from a computer. The frustrated Antichrist is unable to locate it. This book gives good Biblical insight and is Christian fiction at its best. It is thought provoking and will give you something to think about when you finish the novel. It is realistic and closely follows the scripture of Earth's last years.
Such a cliff hanger!!!
This is the fourth book in the Left Behind Series. It continues just after wrath of the Lamb--a global earthquake in the 21st month of the Tribulation. Our two main characters, Buck and Rayford, are once again the ones the story is built around. But this time you want to keep up with both stories as they work to see who is left alive. We watch them both try and find their spouse's. We also see that the world population is starting to realize they need to take sides...choosing to align with Christ or the Anti-Christ.... At the end of this book we see the beginning of the Trumpet Judgments. This is the best written of the four book yet. There is actually a couple of twist in this book, which is nice. And once again the story does flow. That and the large print, I was able to read this book in a single afternoon. For the first time, I will go directly to the next book in the series and follow the story line.
The next fantastic installment in the Left Behind series. I was well-and-truly addicted to this series by the time I read this one.
Book number four (4) of the Left Behind series is the weakest so far. Lahaye's and Jenkin's writings become predictable in this storyline. I've liked the characters so far so I'll continue the series with the next book. So far, I'm getting disappointed after a great 1st novel and a good 2nd and 3rd.
The Soul Harvest continues to follow members of the Tribulation Force as they prepare for the End of Days. With a tighter focus on just a few of the members this entry is less sprawling than previous entries, delivering a story with less redundancy and repetition. That said, not much really happens for the first three quarters of the book, fortunately the final quarter contains some great action scenes, whlist remaining true to the characters involved. Although Soul Harvest is tepid in terms of shock and awe there is enough to keep readers interested and up for the next instalment.
All of the Left Behind books are provacative and page turning. I read them all at least once a year.
This fourth book in the series did not hook me like the first three did. The dialogue was dull and didn't read the way real people talk. It took me a week to get through it. The others only took me about 2 days each. However, the overall subject is very interesting and I will continue reading. I've started Apollyon, which is already proving to be better, and have checked out Assassins as well.
I've read this book before but I wanted to get back into the series and I couldn't remember the whole story so I re-read it.I have to say that I was very entertained by this book. I think that this series is so well written that if you don't believe in the Rapture that you would enjoy the story line.The characters in this story are so well developed that you can't help but to form a bond with them. The book jumps around a bit, but it is not distracting and it does not deter from the story at all. In fact I think that this is a very well written book.If you have not read any of the Left Behind books I would encourage you to start at the begining. Although there is enough past written into this book that you could pick up most of what happened I would imagine that there are little things that add to the story that you would miss if you picked up in the middle.Overall I think this is a great book and a great series. I'm going to start the next book as soon as I can!
Wonderful read, so informative and compelling/
"Hahaha! Locked out!"